* UN appealing for $202 million to bring urgent life-saving assistance to Libya.
* One million barrels oil production a day is not improving people’s lives
* Corruption a big issue in Libya
By: Hatem El-Gamasy,
Sunday, Feb 17, 2019
The protracted political crisis that started in 2011 with demonstrations leading to the fall of long-time Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi has developed into an armed conflict, forcing tens of thousands of families into displacement, and driving over a million people to depend on aid to survive as they are unable to afford the most basic things.The UN Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator for Libya, Maria Ribeiro and Dr. Milad Al Taher, Minister of Local Governance,
launched the plan at an event in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, alongside Fayez al-Sarraj, President of the Presidency Council, and Dr. Ghassan Salame, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).The funds required in the 2019 HRP are meant to provide food, health care, protection especially from buried explosive hazards which threaten the lives of entire communities, water and sanitation services, shelter, basic household items, and emergency education support for the most vulnerable.
Ms. Ribeiro stressed that: “Libya is now producing well over one million barrels of oil a day. However, this has not yet
translated into tangible benefits for people. “Many Libyans get poorer every year. Basic health and education services decay,
and frustrated citizens cannot understand why oil production and increased government revenue does not lead to improved living
standards, security and well-being for all in Libya”.
During a press briefing at the United Nations in New York last Thursday – after returning from Libya to talk about the humanitarian situation there – Ms Maria Ribeiro stressed that the equivalent of 11% of Libya’s total population of 6.75 million people are in dire need of urgent humanitarian assistance .
I asked Ms. Ribeiro asked: Libya is currently producing more than one million barrels of oil a day. Why did not this translate into helping the Libyan people? More than half a million are in desperate need of assistance?
A million barrels of oil is not a small thing, how do you ask for $ 200 million, while oil production exceeds one million barrels per day? Ms. Ribeiro replied that steps have been taken by the end of last year on economic reforms that will have an impact on people’s lives, one of which is the lack of liquidity and the collapse of the Libyan currency due to the difference between the official value of the currency and its value on the black market. In this regard, there is now a reduction in the gap between the official price of the Libyan currency and the price on the black market, which has led to some stability and the availability of cash in many areas. In regard of oil production, Mr. Ghassan Salame, head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, said in many of his briefing to the UN Security Council that it is a problem of corruption and lack of transparency.
Then I asked her if she had talked about corruption with Libyan officials in Tripoli and how it could be tackled she said that was one of the issues discussed by the UN mission in Libya with the Libyan authorities and differen stakeholders in Libya.
At the end of her meeting at the United Nations, Ms. Ribeiro reiterated that the future of Libya was in the hands
of the Libyans themselves. But for now, in which people are suffering, it is extremely important that
the international community work to ensure the support and security of the vulnerable in Libya.