Tunis – International partners joined efforts with the United Nations system in Libya to support and boost their Libyan counterparts’ capacity to design, develop and implement social policies including a stronger community participation in the framework of efforts to stabilize and develop Libya.

UN-Habitat and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) disseminated the findings of five Libyan city profiles carried out on Benghazi, Janzour, Al Kufra, Ubari and Sabha in the closing event of the Rapid City Profiling & Monitoring System.

Funded by the European Union under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, the Rapid City Profiling and Monitoring System Project is implemented jointly by UN-Habitat and UNFPA, in collaboration with the Libyan Ministry of Planning, the Bureau of Statistics and Census, the Urban Planning Agency and respective municipalities, in coordination with relevant ministries, UN agencies, and international and national NGOs.

The City Profiles consist of a multisectoral tool providing a detailed assessment of urban functionality, services, and population dynamics, with a focus on the conflict-implications in terms of demographic changes, infrastructural damage, the socioeconomic landscape and the coping mechanisms adopted by the population.

The report informs on the modalities through which the crisis has affected the population, a quarter of which affirmed they have had to adopt coping mechanisms to ensure their financial sustainability.

The report also shows how the growth of informal settlements after 2011 caused additional pressure on public utility networks and services, although most of the surveyed population affirmed that their household remains more than 6km away from functioning public services (health, school and public administration).

Consultations were held with local authorities and international stakeholders to discuss the findings and priorities for development and humanitarian aid agencies. The City Profile report includes several evidence-based recommendations guiding the Libyan Government and UN agencies to address the most critical short, medium and long-term needs in order to coordinate the interventions in each city and respond to the most urgent necessities more efficiently.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Alan Bugeja, EU Ambassador to Libya, said that the city profile reports represent a great evidence-based tool to sharpen our collective understanding of the challenges and rehabilitation needs faced by each targeted city, and should help foster better coordination between humanitarian and development stakeholders and the Libyan authorities on defining Libya’s short-term priorities.
“As Libya moves beyond conflict and crisis, implementing a multisectoral recovery in cities is key in addressing the needs of the Libyan population,” said Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, UN Resident Coordinator and UN Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for Libya. “These five city profiles provide the data and evidence needed for all of us working in Libya to put in place a clear plan of action to respond to the needs of citizens.”

Mr. Essam Garbaa, Head of the international Cooperation Office in the Ministry of Planning confirmed that “the Rapid City Profiling and Monitoring System is a milestone to promote the evidence-based planning on the central and local levels in Libya. It is of high interest to all stakeholders to expand the geographical coverage of such tool to reach all Libya in the future. In the meanwhile, to sustain the reconstruction and development efforts, It is a priority to invest in the capacity-building of the concerned parties on the maneuver of the city and population profiles in strategic planning.”

Ms Yosr Nehdi, Habitat Country Manager, added that “the Libya data portal is an important tool to ensure the sustainability of the project as it will be activated for two years. UN-HABITAT is also keen on reinforcing the collaboration with the Urban Planning Agency to build the capacities of the six municipalities on GIS for a better monitoring and update of the urban data base.”

“The Rapid City Profiling and Monitoring System is part of UNFPA efforts to support the Libyan authorities in generating evidence on population needs and guarantee the use of data at national and subnational levels to inform policies for Libya’s development, humanitarian and peacebuilding priorities,” concluded Ms. Bérangère Böell-Yousfi, UNFPA Libya Head of Office. “It is also a critical tool to track the achievements towards the 2030 agenda and monitor the Sustainable Development Goals in Libya.”