Italy helps WFP provide food assistance to the most vulnerable in Libya
TRIPOLI/TUNIS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Libya welcomed a generous donation of €3.5 million from the Government of Italy to support WFP operations that include vital food assistance to over 60,000 vulnerable people across the country, support for emergency response operations and data collection to identify needs and guide humanitarian intervention.
This is the largest contribution WFP has received in Libya since it re-established its office there in 2014. Italy has contributed to the Libya operation every year since 2017.
“We are most grateful for this timely contribution from Italy that will allow us to continue to provide critical food assistance. Among other initiatives, it ensures the continuation of electronic vouchers that play a vital role in supporting the local economy,” said WFP Country Director and Representative in Libya Samer AbdelJaber. “Italy’s continuous support has buoyed our response in Libya, and this new commitment marks a significant step in the partnership and ensures real impact on the ground.”
The first phase in voucher assistance was launched in Libya thanks to Italy’s past contributions, and with this new funding WFP can ensure this very successful form of assistance continues. WFP started using food e-vouchers in Libya with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year as it also helps ensure less crowding and lines, crucial at such a delicate time.
WFP will also use the funds to provide food assistance through direct food distributions to internally displaced people (including children) and host communities, and support WFP’s food assistance in the inter-agency emergency rapid response mechanism that ensures delivering core supplies to recently displaced people in urgent need.
Italy’s Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi stressed the importance of this contribution to address the root causes of humanitarian challenges for Libya’s most vulnerable. He said: “The Italian government is committed to supporting the 2020 UN Humanitarian Response Plan in Libya. We are glad to renew once again our partnership with WFP in providing essential services to local populations all across the country, in coordination with Libyan authorities.”
Libya continues to be deeply impacted by political divides and a violent conflict that has gone on for almost a decade, disrupting its security, economic and humanitarian situation. Food insecurity in the country has been a challenge due to protracted displacement, disruption to markets, dwindling food production and overreliance on food imports, and has skyrocketed in the last months due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a suffering economy.
“The Italian Cooperation is strongly committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable groups in Libya, with the aim of contributing to meeting their basic needs, such as access to food,” said Representative of Tunis Regional Office of the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation Flavio Lovisolo. “Through our partnership with WFP, we will respond to the most urgent needs of food insecure populations in Libya, support WFP’s school feeding activities, and reinforce knowledge on the needs of migrants in the country.”
WFP’s work in the country spans from country-wide general food distributions, emergency food assistance in response to crises, school feeding and community and resilience-building activities aimed at the empowerment of women and youth. WFP also manages operations that support the larger humanitarian and donor response in Libya, including the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), and the leadership of the Logistics and Emergency Telecommunications Sectors and co-leadership of the Food Security Sector. All of WFP’s projects have been implemented or adapted to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring support to Libya continues.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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