The German government and the European Union are committed to improving living conditions for the people of Libya. The GIZ has been supporting this goal since 2011. The GIZ advises the Libyan government on decentralisation and on plans to establish administrative structures in cities and rural communities. As a result, local authorities now play a more important role. Services such as waste and water management are improving. At the same time, the GIZ works with civil society organisations – in particular groups of young people – in 16 towns and cities. Its approach is designed to foster social cohesion. The GIZ also promotes local economic development in order to create new jobs and works with local clinics to improve health care.
Libya has remained unstable since the fall of its long-time dictator, Muammar al-Gaddafi, in 2011. The internationally recognised government in Tripoli faces a rival government in the east of the country. People find it difficult to obtain basic supplies due to weak political structures, the precarious security situation and a lack of economic capacity.
Implementing projects is not easy amid the ongoing conflict and a banking crisis. The GIZ has to proceed very cautiously and set up professional security and risk management systems. Projects are managed remotely from Tunis and Germany but are implemented by national staff working for the GIZ in Libya. And many concrete results have already been achieved. Over a thousand local people have taken part in planning meetings and dialogue events. These have helped launch around 1,200 urban development projects, for example to improve water supplies and waste disposal, set up psychosocial support services for women and those wounded or maimed during the war, and to expand the provision of nursery schools and playgrounds. More than a hundred projects have already been set in motion. Women who wish to work in the textiles industry can sign up for a course at any of seven dedicated advice and training centres. Another GIZ initiative has provided materials and staff training at five clinics in cities affected by the civil war with the result that they can now offer professional medical care, potentially benefiting over 50,000 local and internally displaced people.
The GIZ is working to deliver tangible improvements as quickly as possible while laying the foundations for a stable and peaceful society. The Berlin Conference in January 2020 has opened up the prospect of a return to political dialogue, boosting hopes that our current projects can be implemented more effectively. We’ve made a start.