|Dec. 19, 2017 -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) said that 36,000 migrant children in Libya need assistance.
"About 36,000 migrant children need assistance in Libya. Out of an estimated 400,000 migrants, nine percent are children and, shockingly, more than 14,000 children are unaccompanied," UN Support Mission in Libya said on Monday.
UNICEF and IOM are increasing joint efforts to help immigrant children in Libya by providing protection, education, water, sanitation and health, the Mission said.
"In 2018, IOM aims to assist 30,000 migrants in voluntary returns to their country of origin, among them many migrant children. The two UN agencies will make sure that the child's best interests are prioritized pre-departure, throughout the journey and that follow-up assistance is provided when they arrive back home," according to the Mission.
The Mission said the two agencies are also working to organize national vaccination campaigns for vulnerable children, including migrant and refugees, as well as providing psychosocial support.
The turmoil following the 2011 uprising in Libya that toppled former leader Gaddafi's regime created a state of insecurity and chaos in Libya, which led to massive flows of immigrants, mostly Africans, through the Mediterranean towards Europeans shores.
Immigrants who are rescued by the Libyan navy at sea are detained in receptions centers with poor living conditions.