The international pledges to resettle 25,000 migrants from Libya are moving slowly, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Tuesday.
Grandi made the remarks at a press conference here after visiting several refugee shelters and camps.
“We have received international commitments on the issue of resettling 25,000 refugees from Libya. However, unfortunately these commitments are not going well, but slowly,” he said.
“We need to speed up the pace of the resettlement program,” he said, adding that only a small part of the program has been implemented and less than 2,000 immigrants have been received.
“We have resettled a small number to Italy and Romania. About 1,300 immigrants, the largest number, have been transferred to Niger,” the UN official said, thanking the government of Niger for setting up a temporary facility to receive the migrants.
Grandi called for speeding up the return of the internally displaced Libyans to their cities. “In the absence of a real political agreement, the suffering of the displaced people continue and increase,” he said.
Libya is a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, due to the state of insecurity and chaos in their homelands.
The reception centers in Libya are overcrowded with tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, a few of whom have a chance to resettle in a third country, while most of them are voluntarily repatriated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
In 2017, the IOM repatriated 20,000 immigrants voluntarily from Libya to their countries of origin.