Tawergha, 23/December/2020 – The Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General in Libya, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNICEF conducted a joint mission in Tawergha to witness progress already achieved so far towards stabilization of the city with support from UNDP’s Stabilization Facility for Libya (SFL).
During the conflict in 2011, 40,000 Tawergha residents were forced to leave their homes being displaced for over nine years. Thanks to the Reconciliation agreement, signed in 2018 between Misrata and Tawergha, facilitated by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) with the support of UNDP, people from Tawergha began to return to their homes safely and settle again inspite of lack of basic services and adequate security measures.
Through the Stabilization Facility for Libya (SFL), UNDP provided an ambulance, rehabilitated three schools as well as a computer lab which accommodates 24 trainees and trains youth on IT skills. Availability of education was a motivation for more families to return back home. More than 500 families decided to settle again in the city after full renovation of the educational institutions. 700 students are already enrolled and ready to resume their studies in Tawergha when COVID-19 measures will allow. SFL has also provided a series of workshops that have allowed many Tawerghans to receive psycho-social support.
Moreover, SFL has installed 40 lighting poles, to lighten streets of Tawergha, that are powered by renewable solar energy. The equipment contributed to bring more security and motivated families to go back and start new businesses. A second phase of street lightening targets to install 150 more poles covering approximatively 3.5 km.
In the area of livelihoods, with a generous contribution from the Government of Japan, UNDP helped local entrepreneurs rebuild their businesses affected by conflict and COVID-19 by providing grants to valuable businesses ideas.
During the visit, Mr.Yacoub El Hillo, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Libya, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator said:
“Peace creates opportunities and great possibilities. The Tawerga Misrata Reconciliation intiative is a living proof that when there is peace then everything else becomes possible — from rehabilitation of basic social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, water and electricity, restarting businesses, to once again starting to think big. This reconciliation intiative should be promoted and replicated elsewhere in Libya. It was heartwarming to come back today with my UN colleagues and see the significant progress that has been achieved on the ground in the last twelve months”.
On her part, Ms Gozde Avci-Legrand, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Libya stated: ''Security, health and education are three critical needs that are often requested for voluntary and safe returns of displaced families. As UNDP, we are proud to provide much needed support to Tawergha with the aim of creating a favorable environment for voluntary returns including in the area of local economic recovery and livelihoods.''
The SFL, implemented by UNDP with the support of the Government of Libya and 13 international partners, works in collaboration with national authorities and public companies to support municipalities to rehabilitate essential service facilities and boost capacities to improve basic service delivery around the country.