International NGO Safety Organisation
Clearing the remnants of fighting in Sirte. Credit: Christian Jacob Hansen, Danish Demining Group

INSO responds to NGOs call in Libya

While somewhat recently stabilised, over a decade of conflict has left Libya with a complex security environment.

In 2019 and 2020, conflict between the Libyan National Army and the Government of National Accord escalated, and heavy fighting hit many civilian areas. Currently, families continue to be displaced by tribal violence and armed groups which operate across the country (UNICEF).


Political and economic instability alongside this armed conflict has created a protracted humanitarian crisis, which has been further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread criminality.


Acute Humanitarian Needs

Across the country more than 1.3 million people are currently in need of support. This includes the local population as well as almost 600,000 migrants and refugees (OCHA).


Libya’s health system is close to collapse. In 2020, 3.5 million people lack consistent access to primary and secondary health care services, and over half of the health care facilities that were open in 2019 have subsequently closed, primarily due to security threats and lack of funding (OCHA).


In addition to this there are significant food insecurity and protection concerns in Libya, with the situation continuing to worsen with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities.


Many humanitarian organisations are working in Libya, providing vital services to meet those needs. However, the response is greatly underfunded meaning organisations are often overstretched.


For those NGOs accurate and timely information is often hard to come by. This makes the complex environment difficult to navigate. It also poses a potential risk to the safety of their staff, and leads to limitations on where they can operate.

INSO Support

In 2020, INSO was invited by the 23-member Libya INGO Forum to assess the viability of establishing a platform in the country to provide safety and access services for humanitarian organisations.


Ross Baillie, Regional Director for the Middle East and Central Asia, led the assessment which found there were significant gaps and needs that INSO could meet. As a result, INSO has begun steps to establish a project.


Baillie said: “While NGOs do not entirely lack for information and analysis relevant to safety and access, the overarching consensus is that current provision is insufficient in availability and relevance. We hope to be able to strengthen the security analysis and incident alerts available for NGOs.”

We also hope to improve and increase access coordination between NGOs to enable better safety for all aid workers.

INSO has now recruited a Country Director to start up its Libya mission and it is anticipated that INSO will launch its services for registered national and international NGOs in early 2022.


INSO is an international NGO dedicated to humanitarian safety. We work in 14 of the world’s most volatile countries to ensure that humanitarians are able to operate safely and deliver their services.


For further information on INSO upcoming work in Libya contact


Update: INSO’s program start-up in Libya is on hold indefinitely.