The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) released a statement on Monday, concerning the unified Libyan response to areas affected by floods in eastern Libya. This comes after the visit of UN Envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily on 16 September, meeting residents, local and national authorities, and international partners of Libya.
Bathily expressed concern over the emergence of “unilateral and conflicting initiatives by various Libyan parties and institutions concerning the reconstruction of Derna, and other flood-affected areas.” He emphasised that such one-sided efforts could “yield counterproductive outcomes, deepen existing divisions in the country, and hinder reconstruction efforts.”
Moreover, they stand in contrast to the wave of solidarity, support, and national unity demonstrated by Libyans nationwide in response to the crisis.
“There is an urgent need to establish a unified national mechanism, to effectively and efficiently proceed with reconstruction efforts in flood-affected areas,” Bathily stated. He added that the reconstruction process should “proceed swiftly and be based on a reliable, independent, and objective assessment of damages and needs, along with professionally determined cost estimates, ensuring transparency in contracting and procurement processes.”
The Envoy pointed out that the Libyan people have “voiced concerns about arbitrary cost estimates, and unilateral reconstruction initiatives announced without transparency and without the endorsement of all relevant authorities and stakeholders.”
UNSMIL called on all relevant national and local authorities, as well as international partners, to facilitate an agreement on a unified and coordinated Libyan national mechanism, to lead recovery and reconstruction efforts, ensure transparency and accountability, based on an objective assessment of the situation and needs on the ground.
The mission underscored that the example of the High Financial Committee shows that Libyan leaders and national institutions, “can unite to make crucial decisions and address issues of national importance, including through existing platforms.”
Bathily urged Libyan leaders to “rise above their divisions and come together to agree on a unified response to reconstruction needs.” He affirmed that the impact of storm Daniel is a “reminder of the need to accelerate negotiations on breaking the political deadlock,” expressing his anticipation for receiving the revised electoral laws, and facilitating urgent dialogue among key Libyan parties to reach a political settlement on all contentious issues, and agreeing on a pathway leading to elections, fulfilling the aspirations of the Libyan people.