The European Union has provided a €20 million Euro program to protect the most vulnerable people from the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya. The ‘Salamati’ program provides coordinated support to Libyan authorities to respond to the epidemic.
According to a statement by the EU, working in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the EU’s COVID-19 response program is expected to reach 4.8 million people across Libya, including those in hard-to-reach areas.
Since the first COVID-19 case in March 2020, more than 133,000 cases have been recorded, with a death toll of 2,180. Due to low testing capacities, WHO expects actual numbers to be higher.
The EU Ambassador to Libya, José Sabadell said “A global pandemic can only be tackled through global cooperation. The European Union is therefore working closely with countries and partner organizations around the world to foster protection measures and infection tracking, bring forward research in treatment and vaccines, and to make vaccines available and accessible for as many as possible.”
“In Libya, the EU seeks to both support the national COVID-19 response and strengthen primary healthcare services, as the Libyan health system is suffering severe undersupplies and damages as a consequence of the longstanding conflict,” he added.
Funnelled by the imperative of “leaving no one behind”, and continued access to quality essential services for all. The Salamati program works on improving national detection and surveillance mechanisms, boosting preventive measures, and supporting Libya’s national healthcare system.