OCHA-led UN inter-agency mission visits Alwahhat region in eastern Libya.
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OCHA-led UN inter-agency mission visits Alwahhat region in eastern Libya
From 5 to 10 February, OCHA led a UN inter-agency mission in east Libya, visiting three municipalities (Jalu, Aujula, Ejkerra) in the Alwahhat region. Representatives from OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, IOM, WFP, and WHO met with municipal and local community leaders, civil society organizations, representatives from the health, education and WASH sectors, INGOs and national organizations, such as the Libyan Humanitarian and Relief Agency (LibAid) and the Libyan Red Crescent Society, to review humanitarian conditions to better assess targeted programming and assistance in the region.
Humanitarian issues raised during the mission focused on the state of basic services, particularly health and education facilities as well as water availability. Although the facilities visited were deemed to be in adequate condition, UN agencies agreed on several recommendations to help improve capacity building skills for health, education and civil society partners. As a result, skills-based technical training sessions for health staff, in particular, was agreed as well as those working in agriculture; this would include awareness-raising sessions on improving infection prevention, digging water wells, and supporting farmers with irrigation systems and pumps. Discussions were also held on the status of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the region, estimated to be around 685 individuals, and their ability to access services and assistance.
Alwahhat is considered Libya’s major oil producing region, responsible for some 70 per cent of the country’s production, as well as an important region for Libya’s palm date farming and cultivation. Discussions with local counterparts included the farming industry’s concerns over environmental threats affecting date production, such as invasive pests, as well as the impact of the oil fields on local air quality and pollution, including water and soil contamination. While not involved in mission, follow up included FAO and UNEP. The region also hosts a significant number of migrants, many of whom find work in the oil and agriculture industries. The inter-agency mission met with migrant community leaders and civil society organizations (CSOs) to assess the humanitarian needs of migrant communities. Lack of awareness on protection issues was identified as an area requiring greater monitoring by the UN agencies, noting that migrants and CSOs would benefit from awareness-raising interventions. In this regard, IOM and OCHA agreed to organize the Humanitarian Coordination and Protection Training for stakeholders in Alwahhat region.
The mission also had an opportunity to review humanitarian operations in Benghazi, which included a visit to a camp for IDPs hosting displaced families from Tawergha.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.