U.S. and UNICEF Call for End To Indiscriminate Shelling in Libya

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On Monday, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland, held a meeting with UNICEF’s Special Representative to Libya, Abdel-Rahman Ghandour.

During the meeting, they stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire, to bring an end to the indiscriminate shelling of civilian populated areas, that have led to the death and injuring of several children during the last month.

Ghandour praised UNICEF’s ongoing coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health (MoH), the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), and other aid organizations to enhance public awareness of COVID-19 mitigation strategies, and strengthen primary healthcare services for children and their families.

He added that the ongoing conflict in Libya and the overarching COVID-19 crisis has resulted in truly dire circumstances that require the urgent and full attention of the Libyan authorities.

UNICEF’s operations in Libya provide critical protection, health, nutrition, hygiene, and educational support to hundreds of thousands of children and their family members. This is in addition to administering lifesaving vaccines and rehabilitating schools and classrooms.

It is also working with the Libya’s NCDC to produce and disseminate child-friendly health awareness materials, in addition to coordinating with the Ministry of Education to provide distance-learning options for schoolchildren, and the Ministry of Social Affairs to ensure the protection of populations at risk.

Notably, the U.S. Department of State previously supported UNICEF’s operations with $1.5 million in funding for health and child protection activities in Tripoli, Misrata, Tawergha, and Benghazi. In March 2020, the U.S. government contributed $4.6 million to UNICEF’s global headquarters for COVID-19 responses around the world.