The European Union adopts new assistance programme to improve health services in Libya


European Commission - Press release

Brussels, 12 December 2017

The Commission adopted a new €10.9 million health programme which will support Libyan people to get better access to healthcare.

The EU-funded action will directly benefit the Libyan population and improve their access to healthcare. Measures will include assistance to maternal and new-born health, trainings for future nurse and midwifery and the establishment of a national prevention strategy at primary health care level countrywide.

"The European Union stands by the Libyan population in these challenging times. This new assistance shows our commitment to alleviate the suffering of the Libyan population by improving healthcare, an essential public good", commented Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

In order to improve health services delivery and quality, the new EU programme will focus on the following crucial health services:

Maternal and new-born health and blood transfusion services; actions will improve the access and the quality of maternal and new born health and will upgrade functions of the national blood transfusion services.

Nurse and midwifery training and education; actions will be conducive to the establishment of a National Strategic Plan for Nursing and Midwifery, pre-service training delivered to first-year students in line with a revised curriculum; and increased student intake in selected schools.

Mental health, substance abuse management and psychosocial support; actions aim at reducing psychosocial distress, mental health and substance abuse among at-risk groups as ex-combatants and marginalised youth by expanding access, availability and acceptability to quality psychosocial support and mental health care; and by training and upskilling of mental health staff.

Prevention and management of non-communicable diseases; actions will include the establishment of a robust prevention strategy at primary health care level countrywide; the identification of high-risk subjects, early diagnosis and early intervention in the form of health education on lifestyle factors that increase the risk of developing chronic conditions; prevention of comorbidities and complications through the use of evidence-based practice guidelines, self-management education, and regular monitoring in a cohort of patients.


The European Union is assisting Libya's transition towards a stable, functioning country and is supporting UN mediation efforts in this regard. The newly adopted EU programme aims at supporting access to quality health services in Libya, which has been facing difficult challenges in recent years. This action is financed by the European Commission with the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) which is one of the main sources of support by the EU to the country.

The EU currently has a package of close to €120 million in bilateral support to Libya in 37 projects across six sectors: civil society; governance; health; youth and education; migration and protection; and support to the political process, security and mediation.