On World Population Day, UNFPA commits for scaling up reproductive health services in Libya

News and Press Release
Originally published

Tripoli (July 10, 2021): “UNFPA programme in Libya aims to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, and every birth is safe as per the theme and aspirations of this year’s World Population Day. COVID-19 has laid bare stark inequalities and weaknesses in healthcare systems. We stand committed to provide uninterrupted reproductive health (RH) services to people especially women and girls in Libya including migrants, refugee and other most vulnerable segments,” says Asr Toson, Representative UNFPA Libya in a statement in connection with this year’s Population Day on July 11, 2021.

Despite that the International Conference on Population and Development conducted in Cairo in 1994 transformed the way in which countries address population and sustainable development issues – putting the needs, rights and aspirations of individual human beings at the center of sustainable development, the dream of ICPD has remained distant for millions of women and girls, men and boys, all over the world including Libya.

“In Libya, the armed conflict, protracted instability, and COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately impacted the lives of women and girls in Libya, resulting in increased pressure on service structures. The shortage of specialized services and the lack of trust in existing health services further aggravates the situation. Despite challenges, UNFPA Libya along with its partners has adopted innovative approaches from mobile health units to capacity building of health systems with astounding results. However, we need to work long and hard for a self-sustained health system in Libya” Says Asr.

In the last year, UNFPA increased access for women and girls to high quality RH services, with a focus on people affected by the humanitarian context in Libya. It has served over 7,000 people through mobile medical teams deployed in Tripoli, Sabha and Ghat. UNFPA also provided direct consultations, counselling and awareness sessions on SRH issues to another 5,000 women and girls.

To strengthen the resilience of healthcare facilities in the face of conflict and COVID-19 restrictions, UNFPA supplemented the service of 23 Health facilities with the provision of essential reproductive health (RH) kits throughout Libya benefitting over 7,500 individuals.

To achieve increased demand for SRH services, awareness raising activities reached out to over 11,000 persons, whereas 12,000 consultations were provided to different population groups at the community level, including migrants and IDPs. In one year, over 100,000 Libyans received RH awareness through social and electronic media.

UNFPA improved the capacity and resilience of health systems with the provision of integrated RH services, including to most vulnerable populations by building the capacity of over 900 frontline health care providers on SRH service provision.

UNFPA helped establishment of technical guidelines for midwifery and nursing, RH, clinical management of sexual violence and protocols for referral pathways. With the support of mother and child health (MCH) and other trainings, over 200 nurses and midwives were capacitated on communication and community engagement through GBV sensitive messages in combating COVID-19 and provision of SRH services to women and girls.

UNFPA Libya programme is delivering the above services with the gracious support from European Union, Japan, Denmark, Canada, France, Italy, Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, UNTFHS and UN Peace Building Fund.

Salman Khalid

Communications Analyst