Italy’s Agency for Cooperation and NGOs completed work at Zawiya Teaching Hospital in Libya

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TUNIS, MAY 7 – With support from the European Union through the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), in partnership with the Italian NGOs European Committee for Training and Agriculture (CEFA) and Fondazione Albero della Vita (FADV), completed the rehabilitation of the gynecology and pediatric wards of the Zawiya Teaching Hospital, in North Western Libya.

The project, which lasted 14 months starting from March 2020, included essential renovation of the building, the provision of 20 new beds alongside critical medical equipment, as well as specialized training activities to boost the skills of over 30 among medical, paramedical and technical staff.

This initiative falls under the “Recovery, Stability and Socio-economic Development in Libya” programme, dubbed the “Baladiyati programme” which translates from the Arabic “My Municipality”, a three-year action implemented by AICS to respond to the pressing community needs in the sectors of health, education and water and sanitation (WASH).

A key public health facility under the Libyan Ministry of Health’s authority, the Zawiya Teaching Hospital is considered one of the main hubs for health in the Western region, serving an estimated population of about 1 million. Until 2011 the Zawya Teaching Hospital was an advanced and well known facility attracting specializing doctors from all over the country, but subsequent clashes and socio-economic instability led to its operational capacity and medical response reduced of about fifty percent.

The project, implemented by CEFA and FADV under the coordination of AICS, aimed at strengthening access to quality healthcare for all populations in Zawiya, and improving living conditions and resilience of children and their families, including the most vulnerable such as migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees.

AICS, along with CEFA and FADV, celebrated the completion of the project in a ceremony at the Zawiya’s Medical Research Center. During the event, the Hospital Director Dr. Salah Betro and his staff expressed satisfaction for the results achieved, and their hope for continued collaboration to the benefit of Zawya’s community.

“So far, thanks to Baladiyati, 55 priority health facilities in 22 municipalities all over the country are benefiting from AICS urgent renovations, specialised equipment and professional trainings,” said AICS Tunis representative Mr. Andrea Senatori, “additional to 19 interventions in the sector of education and 4 in water and sanitation, for an overall investment of EUR 22 million.”

The EU’s Baladiyati €50 million “Recovery, Stability and Socio-economic Development Programme” is the largest programme ever financed by the European Union in direct support of Libyan municipalities and of some of the most vulnerable communities in the country. It currently works with 24 municipalities across Libya with the aim to improve people’s access to quality public services, such as education, health, water and sanitation. Baladiyati is implemented by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), UNDP and UNICEF. The programme in Libya is funded by the European Union through the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and it aims at improving living conditions and building resilience among vulnerable populations, including migrants, refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees and host communities. (@OnuItalia)