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United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Georgette Gagnon concludes four-day visit to Benghazi to discuss humanitarian and development situation

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United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Georgette Gagnon concludes four-day visit to Benghazi to discuss humanitarian and development situation

Working with the Municipality of Benghazi on humanitarian aid and reconstruction and unification of institutions promotes greater stability and prosperity

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 24, 2021 / APO Group / –

Together with representatives of the Benghazi-based United Nations country team, the Resident Assistant Secretary-General and United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Georgette Gagnon today concluded a four-day visit to Benghazi. Ms. Gagnon visited health facilities, medical warehouses, the Al-Heleas IDP encampment, the rehabilitated Benghazi Library and AlShabbi Corniche as well as the offices of Tatweer Research and LibAid. Ms. Gagnon thanked the government of national unity and the municipality of Benghazi for their full collaboration during her visit.

During her meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Benghazi and municipal officials, Ms. Gagnon discussed the current needs of the municipality and UN efforts to support some 68 humanitarian and inclusive development projects on community stabilization, rehabilitation of infrastructure and access to basic services.

“Working with the municipality of Benghazi for humanitarian aid and for the reconstruction and unification of institutions promotes greater stability and prosperity for the Libyan people,” said Ms. Gagnon.

In meetings with officials from the Ministry of Health and the Benghazi Health Emergency Center, Ms. Gagnon discussed priorities for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, including essential WHO support for extraordinary efforts by Libyan health authorities, such as oxygen supply, and laboratory supplies, drugs, vaccines and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.

Ms. Gagnon reinforced her commitment to advocate for increased supplies of routine childhood vaccines in Libya due to chronic shortages during a visit to UNICEF-supported cold rooms and vaccination sites for the COVID-19 and routine childhood vaccines.

Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Gagnon has witnessed the invaluable work of the director and health professionals at Benghazi Children’s Hospital. She visited the intensive care unit and the newborn ward of the hospital which the UNDP has recently rehabilitated. She referred to WHO’s provision of technical and operational support to strengthen health services at the hospital, which treats children from Sirte to Musaid and as far south as Kufra, and the urgent need to increase the capacity of the hospital.

Ms. Gagnon saw first-hand the resumption of specialized and disease prevention services at the Benghazi Center for Immunology and Infectious Disease, which aims to ensure health care for all and that all people living with the disease. HIV have access to anti-HIV treatment. WHO support to the Center for the Treatment of Infectious Diseases as part of a program including drugs, improvement of diagnostic capacities of the National Center for Disease Control and the health information system in Libya was underline.

In response to the needs of women, girls and boys in Benghazi and the eastern region, UNICEF and UNFPA have extended their support to authorities and nongovernmental organizations for maternal health services, prevention and control. against gender-based violence, empowerment and capacity building of young Libyans and evidence-based planning was highlighted during the visit.

In their interactive dialogue with LibAid, a key partner of UNHCR, IOM and other United Nations agencies, Ms. Gagnon and representatives of the United Nations country team focused on joint initiatives to respond to challenges. longstanding humanitarian needs of vulnerable people in Libya, including operational strengthening and coordination approaches.

At the Tatweer Research Center office, partnership projects with UNDP and WFP to strengthen support for young people in livelihoods and entrepreneurship opportunities were highlighted. Ms. Gagnon met dynamic young entrepreneurs who have created start-ups developing health management and workforce mobility applications for government and the private sector, as well as other business concepts. business.

The United Nations team visited the Benghazi Public Library and the Benghazi AlShabbi Corniche that stretches along the Mediterranean Sea as part of UNDP support for the reconstruction of the old city core. Now, more than 4,000 visitors per week have access to the historical library and the bookstore. This infrastructure is the first to be rehabilitated in the central square of the old town.

During the United Nations country team’s visit to the Al-Heleas IDP camp, Ms. Gagnon met with Tawerghan elders and civil society representatives to discuss ways to address post-return issues and to meet the immediate needs of the Al-Heleas IDP camp where WFP is providing all the food. Distribution. UNHCR is undertaking the rehabilitation of shelters and infrastructure and the distribution of basic necessities, and UNICEF is contributing to education and drinking water facilities. Although returns to Tawergha have continued, further efforts are needed to ensure personal security, social cohesion and durable solutions for Tawerghans and host communities, in collaboration with national authorities.

The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator also met with members of the Marzuq community who have been displaced due to a rapidly deteriorating security situation in Marzuq. They presented demands to secure the city and tackle human rights violations to allow their return.

Humanitarian, protection and human rights concerns regarding the situation of migrants and refugees were raised in most of the meetings. Ms. Gagnon stressed the need to improve the protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees, including alternatives for those arbitrarily detained. The United Nations country team has indicated its readiness to work with the Libyan authorities to develop effective policies and practices on migration governance and labor mobility. Ms. Gagnon reiterated the urgent need that the “Directorate for the Fight against Illegal Migration” of the Ministry of the Interior lift its suspension of voluntary humanitarian repatriation and evacuation flights facilitated by IOM and UNHCR and departures from hundreds of migrants and refugees from Libya, including Benghazi.

Ms. Gagnon heard from international non-governmental organizations and humanitarian partners about the growing challenges of accessing all places and people in need of humanitarian assistance in the region. Actions to address access constraints due to security procedures, logistical obstacles and limited resources have been agreed.

Ms. Gagnon underlined the imperative of weekly UNHAS flights to Benghazi for the provision of critical and other humanitarian aid managed by WFP which also manages the United Nations hub in Benghazi which accommodates all United Nations staff working in the region.

Concluding her productive visit to Benghazi, Ms. Gagnon said: “I was witnessed and encouraged by the open dialogue we had with Libyan actors on the pursuit of partnerships to strengthen the engagement and support of the team. United Nations country for the provision of basic services, livelihoods and humanitarian assistance. help to maintain peace, rebuild social cohesion and advance inclusive development in the country.

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