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Sirte Rapid IDP Needs Assessment: October 2016


In late 2015, Sirte was seized by ISIS. Since then, armed citizens – together with Libyan Government forces and militias from Misrata – have fought to re-take control over the city. The humanitarian community has little information on the needs of the newly displaced population. This information is essential for an effective humanitarian response.
The Needs assessment focused on needs in various sectors, Protection, Shelter/NFI, food, livelihood and water. It is the first assessment that has analyzed the Sirte situation and needs in such depth.


In collaboration with UNHCR and Athar (local organization based in Sirte), Mercy Corps identified four locations with high numbers of IDPs: Alamra, Harawah, Abuhadi and Wadi Javef. According to data from local municipalities, these locations host 112, 250, 240 and 225 IDP households respectively, or approximately 5,000 individuals. The Rapid Needs Assessment, which was conducted in three weeks in September and October 2016 using 20 enumerators, surveyed 404 households to provide a 95% confidence level for each location. The confidence interval was set at 7 to take into consideration the challenging context in carrying out quantitative studies in countries like Libya, and cluster sampling was adopted using geographical maps.
Without a recent census, and to avoid skewing the data arbitrarily, the survey collected information from household decision-makers. Due to the social context, this caused women to be underrepresented. In order to mitigate this, 12 focus group discussions were conducted with 32 women, 32 youth, and 32 elderly. Additionally, 20 key informants, consisting of local government officials, civil society members, and community leaders, were also interviewed.

Key findings: 

- 57% of families contacted do have security concerns
- 51% found the condition of their shelter to be too damaged, unsafe, or over-crowded
- 45% identified blankets and sleeping mats as their primary NFI need
- While 94% of IDPs have access to local markets and 70% of IDPs receive an income, only 45% of those markets are functional and rampant inflation hinders IDPs ability to fulfil basic needs
- 80% do not have a food stock that lasts more than one week
- 27% do not have access to enough water
- 47% do not have access to health services, and for those who have access, the quality if often lacking
- 47% do not have access to education services

Assessment Report: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
25 Sep 2016 to 16 Oct 2016
Report completed
Population Type(s): 
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
Mercy Corps
Participating Organization(s): 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees