AVSI in Libya
- Tripoli Office
AVSI has been working in this country since 2023 to contribute to a peace-building process by strengthening basic services and consolidating local institutions.
Libya today: a fragile, divided Country
After the end of the Gaddafi regime in 2011 and the ensuing civil war, the situation in Libya remains unstable. The country is divided, both politically and territorially, between East and West. The end of the war in Tripoli and the ceasefire signed in Geneva on the 23rd October 2020 between the government in Tripoli and the forces in Benghazi put an end to hostilities. However, they did not negate the security risks and the effects of the war are still visible. The protracted conflict has damaged infrastructure, disrupted basic services and severely affected general income, with negative consequences for the weaker sections of the Libyan population and rural areas.
The political situation in Libya today: the role of local institutions
Libya's political institutions and their leaders have lost legitimacy in the eyes of the population: the country's first joint presidential elections were scheduled for December 2021, but were postponed to June 2022 and then further postponed until a later date. In addition, Libya is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world (source: transparency.org).
In this framework, local institutions, mayors and municipalities are the only interlocutors to restore services and build a peace process involving the communities.
Libya's population: 300,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance
Compliance with the ceasefire agreement has contributed to a steady reduction in the number of IDPs from 316,000 in 2020 to 134,000 in 2023. Libya is also a transit and departure country for Europe for thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan African countries. Today there are about 300,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance in the country – 30% of whom are children – and who suffer from a lack of access to educational services, medical care, energy supply, access to drinking water and sanitation, and safe housing.
AVSI in Libya: rehabilitating services to support the community
In Libya, AVSI has been working since 2023 to improve access to services through infrastructure rehabilitation, solid waste management and the installation of clean and renewable energy systems in two towns in the north-west of the country: Darj (in the district of Nalut) and Ash Shwayrif (in the district of Jabal al Gharbi). Thanks to its action, AVSI strengthens the energy resilience of the territory, allowing health centres in the areas of intervention to ensure their functioning and to draw on a renewable energy source, thus enhancing Libya's high photovoltaic potential.
Capacity building for municipalities
AVSI also focuses on implementing capacity building activities and providing technical training for employees of the municipalities and main service providers in the area.
We work in partnership with the mayors and administrative staff of the two municipalities of Darj and Ash Shwayrif: in a context of political instability, local institutions are crucial in delivering basic services, but lack the skills necessary for sustainable management.
AVSI's action in Libya aims at achieving a tangible improvement in the delivery of and access to basic services. By combining a technical component with capacity building activities, AVSI aims to achieve immediate results but also to ensure their sustainability and reach over time. The valorisation of the photovoltaic potential in Libya, which is often sidelined due to the wide availability of fossil fuels, is intended to be an incentive for the development of an alternative and sustainable energy network.
Furthermore, the contribution to strengthening the role and competences of Libyan municipalities as key actors in the country's pacification process contributes to the progressive stabilisation of Libya’s situation.
AVSI's first project in Libya: with the Italian Cooperation for socio-economic development
AVSI has inaugurated its presence in Libya with the EQUAL project in Southern Libya (Enhancing the Quality Basic Services Access in Southern Libya in the Municipalities of Darj, Shwerif, alGorda, Brak al Shati) launched in February 2023 and lasting one year.
The aim is to strengthen the role and competencies of Libyan municipalities in the local peace building process by increasing the effectiveness of public services. Through the WASH component (Garbage trucks supply) and the focus on photovoltaic energy systems, AVSI contributes to the participatory construction of a more sustainable future. Capacity building of public officials and service providers also directly contributes to the continuity dimension of the project itself, as well as to the multiplier effect activated by its results.
- Assessment of the technical needs of facilities.
- Rehabilitation of municipal facilities.
- Energy equipment (solar panels) of health centres.
- Training of personnel involved in the operation and maintenance of upgraded facilities.
- Staff needs assessments of local authorities and basic service providers.
- Training of beneficiaries.
- Definition and implementation of awareness-raising campaigns and workshops aimed at the community on inclusive access to basic services.
The project is supported by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in the framework of the programme “Recovery, Stability and Socio-Economic Development in Libya” Baladiyati Phase 2 under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), and implemented in partnership with WeWorld GVC, PCI (Peace for Change Initiative) and local organisations Migrace and Bedaya.