Last updated 23 June 2017

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has run mobile clinics in seven detention centres located in Tripoli and the surrounding area since July 2016. The centres are under the administration of the Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM).

MSF provides medical care to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who are arbitrarily detained there. The conditions MSF treats include skin disease, diarrhoeal disease, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and acute malnutrition. They are the direct result of the appalling conditions in the detention centres. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, more than 4,000 medical consultations were carried out.

On 3 February 2017, European Union leaders met in Malta to discuss migration, with a view to closing the route from Libya to Italy by stepping up cooperation with the Libyan authorities. MSF expressed its concerns about the fate of people trapped in Libya or returned to the country.

With no safe and legal passage to Europe, thousands of people have attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea. MSF teams aboard search and rescue boats have rescued more than 50,000 men, women and children, and documented firsthand accounts of the alarming level of violence and exploitation those desperate people experienced in Libya at the hands of security forces, militias, smuggling networks, criminal gangs and private individuals.


Libya remains fragmented by conflict and fighting continued in several parts of the country in 2016.

The breakdown of law and order, the economic collapse and the existence of three governments had a severe impact on the healthcare system. MSF made ad hoc donations of drugs and medical equipment to many hospitals throughout the country to support emergency and surgical care.

In Benghazi, MSF ran a clinic with a Libyan NGO to offer paediatric and gynaecology consultations to displaced and vulnerable people. MSF also supported the emergency room in Benghazi medical centre, and Al Abyar and Al-Marj hospitals with staff and training.

In the west, MSF supported the main Misrata hospital and established a partnership for infection control with an MSF-run hospital in Amman. MSF also provided two hospitals in Zintan with supplies and mass-casualty response training. Due to low patient numbers, MSF stopped supporting Maritime hospital in Zuwara in March, and three polyclinics outside Zuwara in October.

In addition to being a destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, Libya is a place of transit for people attempting to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe. These people are exposed to alarming levels of violence and exploitation.

MSF ran mobile clinics in seven migrant detention centres located in and around Tripoli. Medical complaints were mostly related to appalling conditions inside the dangerously overcrowded detention centres: lice, scabies and flees were rife and significant numbers of detainees were suffering from nutritional deficiencies and the lack of safe drinking water. MSF carried out 7,145 medical

Read about MSF’s activities in other countries in 2016.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 2011.

2016 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 10,500
No. staff in 2016 29
2016 Expenditure €6.3 million


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