The rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and the delivery of better services to Libyans are at the core of the European Union funded programme on "Recovery, Stability and Socio-economic Development in Libya." Implemented by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the programme has already delivered significant results.
AICS worked closely with the central and local authorities to select over 100 priority interventions in response to the most urgent needs and commenced operations in Janzur, Zuwara, Zawya, Ghat and Tahala, where specialised equipment will soon be provided to eight health facilities. UNDP has rehabilitated Al-Birkat Health Center in Ghat, providing health services to 25,000 people.
It has also delivered four garbage trucks to Janzour and more than 500 garbage bins to Benghazi, Murzuq, Emsaed and Kufra municipalities. UNICEF has delivered essential health supplies and medical equipment targeting some 71,000 people, including 26,000 children, as well as water pumps in Ghat to serve around 30,000 people, including 6,000 children.
The progress of the programme was presented today, at the third steering committee meeting, in presence of H.E. Dr Milad, Libyan Minister of Local Governance, who commended the European Union and partners for the dedicated work to restore and enhance living conditions in Libya. “The solid and successful cooperation between the Libyan institutions and the stakeholders involved in the Libya response is key to enhancing the impact of the joint action on the ground. We welcome the implementing partners’ plans to scale up deliveries in 2020 and 2021, and confirm our commitment and full support,” he said.
H.E. Mr Taher Ajhemi, Minister of Planning said: “In today’s meeting, several important points were discussed regarding the implementation and progress update during the previous period, the possible challenges that might be faced in the implementation phase, as well as presenting the implementation plan for the six upcoming months.” He also emphasized the contribution of joint efforts, the continuous consultation with the relevant authorities, and the willingness of the Ministry of Planning to coordinate at both national and international levels.
The EU Ambassador to Libya, Alan Bugeja, stated:
“The EU considers municipalities and communities as key for the stabilization, recovery and state-building process in Libya. Therefore, they must be properly empowered and supported to fulfil their role and responsibilities. EU support to municipalities in Libya is already exceeding 140 million EUR, provided through all EU assistance instruments and covering activities in 57 municipalities. Since the inception of the EU support programme, it has provided already over 3,500 Libyan families with basic support. 50 key social infrastructure facilities such as health centres, clinics, and schools have been renovated and started to provide services in the municipalities benefiting over 700,000 people - including migrants, internally displaced persons and Libyan municipalities."
Representatives from the Presidential Council, the Ministry of Planning, and the Embassy of Italy, attended the meeting and joined the discussions on deliveries for the coming months.
His Excellency Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi, the Italian Ambassador to Libya, stressed that Italy has long been a supporter and strong advocate of the Libyan municipalities’ work towards the most critical needs and vulnerabilities of the population, including local and migrant communities. He said:
“Every day, we have a little more evidence on how commitments on medical care and education can create a more inclusive environment in Libya. While the prolonged crisis has further driven humanitarian interventions, we are called to contribute even more to the resilience of the most vulnerable segments of the population, working closely with the Libyan authorities, the European Union and partners to advance stabilization of basic services for all. I look forward to seeing the fruits of our partnership continue to flourish as we move into full implementation and delivery phase”.
“I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank the European Union for their generous support they are providing to the Libyan people, and to the Ministry of Local Governance for the excellent coordination throughout the implementation of this project. Partnership is at the heart of everything the UNDP does. Working together to provide basic services in the areas of health, education, and water and sanitation is essential to contribute to resilience and recovery in Libya,” said UNDP Libya Deputy Resident Representative, Ms Gözde AVCI-LEGRAND.
The UNICEF Special Representative in Libya, Mr. Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, thanked the European Union for their partnership. He acknowledged that the funds had greatly boosted UNICEF’s efforts in ensuring that more children are protected, able to receive quality education and access the health services. Mr. Ghandour added “This contribution from the European Union is very welcomed, especially as it comes at a time when thousands of boys and girls and their families are facing challenges to access quality basic services.”
In the next 21 months, the programme will continue supporting 24 Libyan municipalities, in coordination with the Ministry of Local Governance. The expected deliveries include nine garbage trucks, 14 sewage trucks, and the rehabilitation of Al Houria School in Sabratha that UNDP is already undertaking. AICS is scaling up deliveries in all assigned municipalities with specialised equipment provided to medical centres, schools and water and sanitation systems. UNICEF will complete the distribution of the health and education supplies, complete the capacity building as well as start the first social entrepreneurship projects in the 24 municipalities.
About the programme:
The Recovery, Stability and Socio-economic Development of Libya programme is funded by the European Union through the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) – North Africa Window, to improve living conditions and build resilience among vulnerable populations, including migrants, refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees and host communities.
In this framework, the 50-million-euro allocation was assigned to the three implementing partners (AICS, 22 million euros; UNDP, 18 million euros, and UNICEF, 10 million euros) to enhance access to basic and social services and strengthen local capacity in 24 conflict and displacement-affected municipalities with a focus on health, education, water and sanitation.
The EUTF aims to address root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa and the root causes of instability, forced displacement and irregular migration and to contribute to better migration management.