On 12 January, during the one-day visit, IOM officials met with the leadership of the Libyan Coast Guard to discuss the outcomes of a needs assessment conducted last year.
This assessment aimed to identify ways to improve the infrastructure of Libyan disembarkation points and enhance the capacity of government agencies involved in rescue operations. A work-plan for a capacity building programme was discussed during the meeting and concrete steps for the rehabilitation and provision of communication equipment was agreed.
According to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (http://missingmigrants.iom.int), 4,576 deaths were recorded in 2016 among migrants crossing the central Mediterranean trying to reach Italy. Most of the victims left from Libya. In 2016, IOM recorded 18,904 migrants rescued off the Libyan coastline.
During 2016, IOM – with help from the European Union’s Regional Development and Protection Programme – supported Libyan rescue-at-sea operations in multiple ways.
It helped to establish four fully equipped medical clinics to ensure quick medical assessments of rescued migrants. It also provided lifesaving equipment to the Libyan Coast Guard in Tripoli, including Thuraya satellite phones, torches (flashlights), life vests and foil blankets.
It also provided the Libyan Coast Guard with 10 desktop and10 laptop computers and offered expertise in establishing a database of information on rescued migrants.
Three first aid trainings and practical workshops were held for agencies involved with rescue-at-sea operations, including the Libyan Coast Guard, Port Security, Directorate for Combating Irregular Migration (DCIM) and Libyan Red Crescent.