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First group of refugees evacuated from new departure facility in Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in coordination with Libyan authorities, evacuated 133 refugees from Libya to Niger today after hosting them at a Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli which opened on Tuesday.

Most evacuees, including 81 women and children, were previously detained in Libya. After securing their release from five detention centers across Libya, including in Tripoli and areas as far as 180 kilometers from the capital, they were sheltered at the GDF until the arrangements for their evacuation were concluded.

The GDF is the first center of its kind in Libya and is intended to bring vulnerable refugees to a safe environment while solutions including refugee resettlement, family reunification, evacuation to emergency facilities in other countries, return to a country of previous asylum, and voluntary repatriation are sought for them.

“The opening of this centre, in very difficult circumstances, has the potential to save lives. It offers immediate protection and safety for vulnerable refugees in need of urgent evacuation, and is an alternative to detention for hundreds of refugees currently trapped in Libya,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

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