High-level UN officials completed their four-day mission to Libya and Tunisia today
Tunis, 14 December 2018 – Concluding a four-day mission to Libya and Tunisia, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States, Mr. Mourad Wahba, the Director of the UNDP Crisis Bureau, Ms. Asako Okai, and the United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA), Ms. Ursula Mueller, called on Government, and national and international stakeholders to address people’s urgent need for life-saving assistance and support recovery and stabilization in Libya linking humanitarian and development actions.
“What we witnessed in Tripoli is disheartening,” said Ms Mueller. “Doctors in public hospitals lack the medical supplies they need to treat patients. Tens of thousands of displaced people have been living in overcrowded shelters, sharing public bathrooms and kitchens. Thousands of migrants of various nationalities are kept in unspeakable conditions in congested detention centers. We saw the damage the conflict has caused to the lives of people, but also the resilience they have demonstrated. The United Nations and partners are committed to support the people of Libya wherever they are, despite the insecurity and access constrains that hamper their work.”
Accompanied by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Ms. Maria do Valle Ribeiro, they travelled together to both countries to reiterate the continuous support of the United Nations towards a peaceful transition in Libya.
“This visit has illustrated the genuine interdependence between security, rule of law, humanitarian and development processes that would ultimately contribute to lasting peace. It is evident that some of our crises response efforts aimed at stabilization, recovery and resilience, and the strengthening of national institutions offer opportunities for generating synergy,” said Ms Okai. “They can complement and enhance life-saving endeavors and prepare for lasting development in the long term. This joint visit was an important opportunity to spread this recognition among stakeholders and put this approach into practice in the best interest of the people of Libya. I look forward to seeing the new way of working progress in Libya”.
During the joint visit, the three Assistant Secretaries-General met with Libyan Prime Minister, H.E. Fayez al-Sarraj, and other high-level Government officials, as well as women rights’ organizations representatives of the humanitarian, development and donor communities both in Libya and in Tunisia.
The officials witnessed the rehabilitation work undertaken through the Stabilization Facility for Libya at Al Ghirane Al Janoubiya School. They also visited Al Fallah IDP camp and attended the inauguration of three recently rehabilitated police training facilities in Tripoli. The police facilities were rehabilitated by the Policing and Security joint Programme, implemented by UNSMIL and UNDP in partnership with Ministries of Interior and Justice and will house trainings for Libyan police and judicial police officers.
“The United Nations is here to support the Government and people of Libya,” said Mr. Wahba. “We witnessed firsthand the challenges Libyan women and men are facing, the work that the Government is doing to address needs, and the support our colleagues on the ground are providing. We will continue working with the Government to support a political foundation for longer-term inclusive and sustainable development. Addressing the needs of Libyans in a sustainable manner requires an investment in development through enhancing the capacities of authorities to deliver services to all citizens, reinforce local peace deals and boost municipal capacities.”
Humanitarian and development partners are linking up efforts in Libya to provide immediate support to affected communities in Libya, to help prevent new humanitarian needs, and to address structural and economic impacts across the country.
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Background for editors:
Seven years into conflict, Libya faces a complex and protracted humanitarian and protection crisis, as a result of armed conflict, the breakdown of public service provision and governance and economic challenges. Many health care facilities are no longer operational, and the United Nations is concerned that, in some areas, Libya’s water and sanitation system, is on the verge of collapse. The country also faces severe development challenges and requires multi-faceted, sustained development support.
Today, an estimated 823,000 people, including around 241,000 children, are in need of humanitarian assistance in Libya. Increased humanitarian and protection needs are a reflection of deepening vulnerabilities amongst Libyans, as half of the people in need are Libyans, and the other half are refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The humanitarian response to the Libya crisis remains however severely underfunded, with only 25 per cent of the $313 million required for the Humanitarian Response Plan received so far.
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