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Sebha Rapid Situation Overview, 27 March 2018


Since late January 2018, the southern Libyan city of Sebha has been subject to inter-communal violence between the Tebu and Awlad Suleiman communities, which has escalated throughout the month of March. These clashes have mainly affected Sebha’s southern and eastern mahallas, displacing up to 870 households to the safer western side of the city and placing those who have remained in danger. To inform humanitarian response plans regarding the situation in Sebha, REACH conducted a rapid assessment on behalf of the Libya Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) to provide a snapshot of needs among recently displaced IDPs.


Between 23 and 26 March, with data collection support from Lifemakers, REACH assessed the humanitarian situation in 8 of the 13 mahallas of Sebha city, focusing on those that had received substantial numbers of IDPs. Data was collected through 16 multi-sector key informant (KI) interviews, 10 of them face-to-face and 6 remote, conducted with community leaders, NGO staff and others, as well as through 5 supplementary interviews conducted remotely with medical professionals in Sebha and Taraghin. The information in this situation overview should be considered indicative only.

Key findings: 

IDPs from conflict-affected mahallas in southern and eastern Sebha had mainly been displaced to the western mahallas of Al Jadidah, Al Mahdia, Al Minshiyah and Soukra. In all assessed mahallas, an estimated 85-100% of recently displaced IDPs planned to remain in their areas of displacement barring a change in conflict dynamics. Refugees and migrants were also reported to be present in all assessed mahallas.
Though many IDP households had initially been housed in public schools, many have since been removed from these schools to enable them to reopen for the academic term. In assessed mahallas, roughly half (40-60%) of recently displaced IDPs were living in rented accommodation in their areas of displacement, with an additional 35-45% living in camps or urban informal settlements.
Despite a 19 March statement from Sebha’s Office of Education directing classes to resume, KIs in all assessed mahallas continued to report that few formal educational institutions were functioning due to insecurity.
Markets in all assessed mahallas were consistently functional and physically accessible to all households. All assessed food items and NFIs were reliably available, though households struggled to afford certain items, particularly chicken, eggs, sugar, flour and baby diapers.
Cash remained almost universally unavailable for withdrawal by ordinary households, owing to the ongoing liquidity crisis that affected all regions of Libya. Nonetheless, in markets, most payments were made in hard cash (Libyan dinars) or with certified cheques.
Health facilities, generally either hospitals or private clinics, remained operational in all assessed mahallas, though access reportedly depended on a patient’s community affiliation. All KIs with medical backgrounds reported a shortage of medicines to treat chronic diseases, particularly diabetes and hypertension.
Within the last two weeks, injuries and casualties due to explosive hazards reportedly occurred in Al Gardah, Al Mahdia, Al Nasiriyah and Al Tanawiyah.
The top three humanitarian needs in assessed mahallas of Sebha, as reported by KIs, were cash, healthcare, and safety and security. KIs in all assessed mahallas reported a strong preference for cash-based interventions over other types of humanitarian aid.

Sample size: 
Assessment Report: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Available on Request
Contact with requests.
Assessment Data: 
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Assessment Date(s): 
23 Mar 2018 to 26 Mar 2018
Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Collection Method(s): 
Key Informant Interview
Population Type(s): 
All affected population
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
REACH Initiative