TUNIS, SEPTEMBER 17 – The Government of Italy contributes Euro 1,000,000 to UNICEF in Libya for supporting a multi-sectoral programme to enhance the quality and delivery of services for conflict affected children and their families. The programme will focus vulnerable children living in under-served areas in Libya such as Sebha and Benghazi.
“Taking care of children, as well as their security and the one of their family, is the best investment for the future of Libya. Our commitment and support to UNICEF in Libya demonstrates the strong will of the Italian Cooperation to support the stabilization and ongoing peace process in that country,” said Flavio Lovisolo, Regional Bureau Director, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Mauritania.
“We are grateful to the government of Italy for the generous and very much needed contribution, which will allow UNICEF to reach additional 10,000 vulnerable children and their families through child protection, education and health care programmes,” said Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, UNICEF Special Representative in Libya.
This contribution will be used to establish child friendly spaces, assist vulnerable children to continue their education in a conducive learning environment in spite of the conflict and displacement in the east and the south. In addition, the fund will support the access to basic primary health care services for conflict-affected women and children as well as strengthening the capacity of health providers in Immunization, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health in the country.
More than 80,000 children are internally displaced and migrant children in Libya are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including in detention centres. Since 2011, UNICEF has been expanding its assistance to respond to children’s needs on the ground. More than 1.3 million children were vaccinated against polio last year. UNICEF and partners, including national institutions, were able to maintain nearly universal immunization coverage even when violence was at its peak. UNICEF has partnered with 28 municipalities across Libya under the “Together for Children Campaign” to support children’s basic rights.
“At a child friendly space where children play, learn and receive psychosocial support, boys and girls spoke of their dreams of living in peace and prosperity. We have to support each and every child in Libya – especially the most vulnerable – to reach their full potential”, recently affirmed UNICEF Regional Director, Geert Cappelaere, following his first visit to the country announcing that “next October, UNICEF plans to have all its international staff operating full-time from Libya. UNICEF will further scale up its assistance to reach 1.5 million girls and boys and support strengthening of national institutions and civil society. (@OnuItalia)