UNHCR and UNICEF pledge to strengthen response to essential needs of children on the move in Libya


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Tripoli, 20 October 2020 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) launched a joint plan to expand assistance, improve delivery of essential services and protection to the children on the move and their families in Libya. The ongoing armed conflict, violence, and displacement have deepened the vulnerabilities of children on the move. As if this was not enough, it makes them among those with the most limited access to COVID-19 prevention services, testing and treatment.

Specifically, the two agencies pledged to make joint efforts to reach a higher number of vulnerable children with access to essential services, including protection and education, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

“We are excited to launch this partnership to work for a better future for refugee and displaced children in Libya”, said Jean-Paul Cavalieri, UNHCR’s Chief of Mission in Libya. “Libya has been selected as one of eleven focus countries globally to pilot this partnership and we hope to see strong results that can also contribute to enhanced social cohesion through our joint efforts.”

Some activities will be carried out through improving access to sanitation in public health facilities and other public institutions, and through quick impact projects – small, rapidly-implemented projects intended to help create conditions for peaceful coexistence between the displaced and their hosting communities. Others will focus on the rehabilitation of local schools, allowing for an increase in the number of children on the move getting admission to schools, with 100 children targeted this year, and another 500 in 2021.

Additional non-formal and catch-up classes will be provided to refugee youngsters who have missed out on schooling. These classes will be provided at UNICEF’s Bayti centres, which are multi-sectoral centres providing child protection and educational services.

“This partnership is targeted at providing a much-needed avenue for the delivery of essential services to children on the move and their families. It will also help to create and maintain a pleasant and friendly living environment within the communities as they interact through education and self-sustaining projects. We hope that the benefits of this partnership will be a benchmark for other conflict-afflicted areas” said UNICEF Acting Special Representative for Libya, Narine Aslanyan.

In addition, the two agencies have pledged to strengthen protection assistance for children on the move, including through bringing services closer to communities in need, working closely with local authorities and advocating for their inclusion in national systems and plans, including birth registration. The agencies will initially target their joint efforts in key municipalities in Tripoli, Misrata, Sabha and Benghazi. The Blueprint for joint action in Libya forms part of a broader global strategy for the two agencies to work collaboratively, unifying efforts to strengthen, improve outreach and make more efficient delivery of essential services to support communities on the move. The goal is to transform the quality of life of children and their families, including doubling the numbers of those able to access education. ends

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