Libya

Libya: Health Sector Bulletin (September 2020)

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Situation Report
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KEY ISSUES

  • Undertaken advocacy efforts to overcome challenges to procurement and clearances Follow the example of other countries and sign a blanket waiver for all COVID-19 supplies arriving at Libyan ports.

  • Over 50% of vaccination fixed sites are partially affected.

  • Reliance on life-saving and life-sustaining health care services supported by the humanitarian response will continue across the country in 2021.

  • 1,195,389 people are in need of health for 2021, including 1,016,839 who have acute health needs.

  • 72% of municipalities are in areas ranked 3 and above on the severity scale.

  • Final narrative of Health Sector HNO 2021 is produced.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

  • The security situation in Libya during the reporting period is characterized with the longstanding tension associated with military build-up around some of the cities in the western region.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a public health challenge for Libya. While COVID-19 is spreading fast and numbers of confirmed patients are rising, there seems to be a lack transparency and communication to the people by the Libyan government. This leads to growing public anger with people expressing their discontent demonstrating on the streets.

  • Government of National Accord takes steps towards decentralization, providing municipalities with emergency funding and allowing them to raise revenues.

  • Dr. Abdel-Moneim Al-Ghadamsi, professor of surgery at Al-Khadra Hospital, was kidnapped in front of his house in Tripoli on 11 September after he left his work. Another doctor, the only anaesthetic specialist in ICU of Al- Mogrif Hospital was attacked (12 September) by security personal, threatened with kidnapping or taken to prison. The doctor resigned with no more ICU services available in the hospital. On 8 September Bani Walid General Hospital was closed after the administrative building and the emergency department were vandalized, burned, and the auxiliary medical and medical personnel were attacked.

  • Prime Minister al-Sarraj expresses intention to resign at the end of October.

  • ASRSG Williams stresses opportunity to restart inclusive intra-Libyan political dialogue, building on 21 August statements and recent meetings in Montreux, Morocco and Egypt.

  • Haftar agrees to lift oil blockade under controversial deal as GNA actors manoeuvre ahead of al-Sarraj’s resignation.

  • Berlin Process: Libyan Economic Dialogue discusses banking crisis, services, decentralization and COVID-19.

  • Libya's GNA announced arrests of top officials over corruption, including Deputy Minister of Health and Sabha hospital director.

  • The Presidential Council (PC) announced on Monday the appointment of Khalifa Al-Bakoush as interim Minister of Health, replacing Ahmed Bin Omar. Al-Bakoush, an ophthalmologist, is now serving as the head of the Scientific Advisory Committee to Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic.

  • Security Council Resolution 2542 (2020) extending the mandate of UNSMIL until 15 September 2021, https://unsmil.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/s_res_25422020_e.pdf

  • On 23 September, Acting UN SRSG Stephanie Williams and the Ambassador-designate of the European Union to Libya, José Sabadell, as the rotating chair of the Economic Working Group (EWG) established by the Berlin Process, convened a meeting with the new leadership of the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) to discuss plans to address the unacceptable electricity crisis in the context of the Libyan efforts to reopen the energy sector.

  • The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Libya will be profound and long-lasting. The country faces a pandemic on top of divided governance, a collapsing economy, widespread corruption, an armed conflict and a severely disrupted health system. The extraordinarily complex political and security environment is hampering efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic at all levels. Moreover, the absence of national leadership has led to unrealistic expectations being placed on health sector organizations to serve as “a provider of last resort”.