On Thursday, the Libyan Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashagha allocated LYD 50 million in urgent aid to help resolve problems facing the residents of southern municipalities.
According to Premier’s Decision No. 20 of 2022, the amount would be deducted from the miscellaneous expense category of the 2022 general budget.
Bashagha also ordered the formation of a committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister, Salem Al-Zadma. It includes the Minister of Local Government, the Minister of Social Affairs, and the Head of the Cabinet Office in the southern region as members.
The committee was assigned to approve the expenses, “provided that the financial controller implements all financial procedures and prepares inter-office vouchers, in addition to all documents necessary for completing the disbursement process.”
The committee will also be tasked with submitting a weekly report to the Prime Minister, and the Ministers of Planning, and Finance on the financial position of the southern region.
Notably, a truck carrying diesel fuel in southern Libya caught fire, killing at least nine people and injuring 76. The truck was involved in a traffic accident and overturned.
Pictures posted on social media pages by residents showed a burnt-out truck and several other vehicles on both sides of the road, in the Azwaiya area of Bent Bayya municipality.
A security source said that “after the truck overturned, but before it caught on fire, some people from other cars had approached it to try and take fuel from the truck’s tank. (Those) citizens approached it to refuel without realizing the magnitude of the danger. Unfortunately, the fire broke out in the truck and resulted in the casualties.”
Libya has Africa’s largest proven oil reserves, but chronic corruption and smuggling to neighbouring countries mean that the pumps often run dry.
Southern Libya is particularly affected by poor services and a lack of investment, more than a decade since the overthrow and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.