National consultations on humanitarian programme planning kicked off
Humanitarian planning for next year is in its advanced stages and as part of efforts by the international humanitarian community to engage and incorporate local views, a series of consultations took place with local stakeholders, including government, non-government and civil society. Consultations were conducted for all regions, beginning with stakeholders in the west on 11 November and continuing with partners in the east and south on 22-23 November.
The meetings, undertaken as a series of small interactive sessions to respect COVID-19 prevention measures, included stakeholders from the relevant national and local authorities, including the General Desalination Company of Libya, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of IDPs, the National Oil Corporation, the Ministry of Health, as well as the Libyan Red Crescent and Libyan civil society and NGOs.
The purpose of the consultations was to identify and discuss how humanitarian needs have changed over 2020 and the potential ways for the international humanitarian organizations, local partners and authorities to address them in the coming year.
Although 2020 presented major challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the humanitarian community and local counterparts in all regions agreed that the rate of cooperation and communication has improved in comparison to previous years. However, the security situation, accessibility and bureaucratic procedures were highlighted as constraints that were faced not only by international organizations but also local counterparts and government entities.
Key takeaways from the western region discussions included the need for improved data sharing and analysis, better preparedness for internal displacement and emergencies, addressing weak governance and complex bureaucratic procedures, demining, and establishing a common coordination mechanism.
Discussions in the eastern region highlighted the need for warehouses placed in strategic locations to enhance rapid mobilization of assistance and responding to those identified to be in need of assistance. The importance of preparedness plans, joint coordination, capacity building, cash assistance, identification of needs, assistance to and return of IDPs, and care for people with disabilities was also discussed.
Discussions in both the west and east also agreed on the need for greater focus on Sirte, having witnessed several armed clashes in 2020 that severely affected the local communities.
In the south, participants agreed that the security situation remains the main obstacle to effectively implement humanitarian and development programmes. The discussion focused on the importance of improving living standards and securing people’s basic needs. A preparedness plan for any potential future conflict was also recommended, including training emergency teams, needs assessments, and identifying emergency warehouses across the southern municipalities. The need to strengthen protection programmes, activate the coordination mechanism, create livelihoods, and distribute aid equally was also discussed.
All regions underlined the need to consider the special needs of vulnerable groups and the types of assistance that can easily be overlooked, such as psychosocial support.