Netherlands, IOM Build Libyan Coast Guard Capacity to Save Lives at Sea

Capacity Building

Libya - The Netherlands and IOM Libya have signed an agreement for an 18-month project aimed at enhancing the Libyan Coast Guard’s capacity to save lives at sea and supporting the humanitarian repatriation of vulnerable migrants from Libya.

The EUR 1.5 million project, which will run through October 2017, will provide lifesaving equipment, basic infrastructure and capacity building for the Coast Guards.

It will also provide assisted voluntary return to stranded migrants in Libya to help them to return to their home countries. The most vulnerable migrants will also get reintegration assistance in their home countries.

May 2016 saw a spike in the number of maritime incidents off the Libyan coast, making it the deadliest month to date this year, with 1,086 migrants reported as dead or missing. Between 22 and 28 May alone, over 3,600 migrants were rescued at sea and brought back to Libya.

Dutch Ambassador to Libya Hans Sandee welcomed the project. “This is an important first step. The Coast Guard plays a key role when it comes to saving lives and border management,” he said.

IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi thanked the Netherlands and emphasized the importance of the project and others like it to resolve the Mediterranean migrant crisis. “It is tremendously important to work closely with Libyan counterparts, including the Libyan authorities and the Libyan Coast Guard, to increase their capacity,” he said.

The project’s primary beneficiaries are migrants, with a particular focus on the stranded and most vulnerable. Other beneficiaries will include civil society organizations, local authorities, the Coast Guard and Libya’s Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration.

For further information, please contact Othman Belbeisi at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email:

IOM and the Netherlands agree to work together in Libya. Photo: IOM