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English  |  العربية 13:58:16, Monday, 16 Jan 2017
UN in Libya


In addition to UNSMIL, there are 15 United Nations Specialized Agencies, Funds and Programmes operating in Libya.

These are: (Click the Titles below for more details about the Agencies)


1. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
2. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
3. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
4. World Health Organization (WHO)
5. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS)
6. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
7. United Nations Organization for Drug and Crime (UNODC)
8. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
9. United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO)
10. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
11. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
12. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR)
13. World Food Programme (WFP)
14. United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS)
15. United Nations Office for Project Services(UNOPS)


There is also a UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Tripoli and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a representation in the Libyan Capital.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the World Bank, which are not United Nations organisations, have also offices in Tripoli.



The UN system has been present in Libya since the 1960s through the presence and activities of several specialised UN Agencies, funds and programmes , known collectively as the UN Country Team (UNCT) Currently there are 25 UN Agencies, funds and programmes engaged in Libya, including the UN-affiliate IOM -18 resident and 7 non-resident . UN programmes are implemented throughout Libya, with UN sub-offices having been established in the major cities of Benghazi and Sabha, thus ensuring UN representation in all regions of the country. The Libyan Government is the main funder of UN activities in Libya.


The principal focus of the UNCT’s work in Libya is development and recovery, although the residual pockets of humanitarian need are also addressed. The UNCT’s development and recovery functions, in addition to that of the international financial institutions (World Bank and IMF), are brought together under the umbrella of the UNCT, led by the Resident Coordinator. The Resident Coordinator also acts as Humanitarian Coordinator, under whose auspices humanitarian activities are carried out.


In order to provide a comprehensive response to the national transitional priorities, UNCT support straddles the political, residual humanitarian and development arenas. The UNCT provides support to government in six priority sectors, in which the UN has expertise: (i) Social Services, (ii) Economic Recovery, (iii) Public Administration & Governance, (iv) Human Rights, Transitional Justice, & Rule of Law, (v) Culture & Tourism and (vi) Infrastructure & Housing.


The UN system in Libya has aligned its plans with the Government’s Strategic Plan by developing a common UNCT Strategic Framework. The draft Framework was discussed at a workshop convened by the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG) and the Libyan Ministry of Planning, with the participation of the UNCT and the government line ministries on 29th July 2012. At present, the UN Agencies, funds and programmes provide the following support:


UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)

Areas of support: Public Administration & Governance Economic Recovery, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law

UNDP provides overall support to all three pillars of government, including the parliament, the judiciary and the executive, as well as the promotion of civil society’s role in the state-building process.


Elections: UNDP supported the first democratic elections held in Libya in half a century, held on 7th July 2012. In collaboration with UNSMIL, IOM and UNOPS, UNDP worked closely with the High National Elections Commission (HNEC) to support the organization of all aspects of elections, including capacity building for operations and management. UNDP collaborated with civil society on civic education and public awareness raising, placing a premium on the participation of women.

Support to Parliament: In collaboration with UNSMIL, UNDP is providing support to the Parliament. With a view to strengthening the capacity of the new parliament and supporting the handover to the new government, technical expert assistance has been provided to the Parliamentary Secretariat. The needs have been identified and capacity building workshops are planned for when the new government is in place.


Public Administration: The UNDP Capacity Strengthening Initiative (CSI) facilitates support to Government through the provision of local and international expertise to national and local government to strengthen capacity.


UNDP is focusing support on building the capacity of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Planning. The Prime Minister’s Office is being provided with advisory services on strategic policy and transitional governance issues. This includes new government structures and public administration reforms, such as civil service reform, decentralisation, e-governance, public financial management, etc. UNDP is providing training in management and effective strategic planning to the MoP, including technical assistance to strengthen the National Statistics System and information management. At the same time, UNDP is working at the sub-national level to develop and strengthen local governance through strengthening service delivery, policy support and coordination.


Anti-corruption: Public accountability and transparency is central to the state-building project. In collaboration with UNODC, UNDP is working with the Office of the Auditor General to strengthen institutional oversight mechanisms, internal financial controls and monitoring & evaluation.


Civil Society Empowerment: UNDP promotes inclusion in all realms of the political dialogue through building the capacity of Libyan civil society. In light of the role that civil society plays in accountability and transparency of government, UNDP is working with Libyan CSO/NGOs on a public education programme on anti-corruption. Working with the Ministry of Planning, Ministries of Culture & Civil Society, Higher Education and Religious Affairs, specific awareness raising initiatives aimed at promoting the engagement of civil society, including women and the youth, have been developed. This includes supporting the government to develop and implement an action plan on SCR1325, the platform supporting the inclusion of women and girls in peacebuilding and reconciliation.


Economic Recovery/ Sustainable Environment: UNDP is supporting the Environment General Authority, National Committee on Climate Change and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as all other relevant ministries in all aspects of natural resource management and environmental policy, from water and waste management to protection of marine wildlife.

Projects under preparation: UNDP is currently developing comprehensive projects on (i) strengthening rule of law and access to justice and (ii) supporting the development of central and local stakeholders in mine action activities in Libya.


UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)

Areas of support: Basic Education, Child Protection

Inclusive and Quality Basic Education: UNICEF is collaborating with the Ministries of Education (MoE) and Social Affairs (MoSA), as well as UNESCO, universities, and other relevant partners to promote inclusive education. UNICEF supports the development of national standards and systems that underpin the formulation of inclusive sector plans and policies. Technical assistance is provided to introduce quality, compulsory Early Childhood Development, including improving teaching and learning.


Education Planning & Management: Through technical assistance, policy dialogue and advocacy, UNICEF is strengthening the capacity of Government in evidence-based educational planning and administration. To promote this, UNICEF has supported the MoE in conducting a nation-wide assessment of all 4,800 schools in Libya that provide first-time evidence of the state of Libyan schools, and will also feed into an education management information system, including data on the most vulnerable children and adolescents, which UNICEF is assisting the MoE in establishing.

Child Protection: UNICEF supports the Government in establishing a protective environment for children in Libya. This includes institutional capacity building such as establishment of the High Council for Childhood, developing of a training package for Social Workers of the Ministry of Social Affairs and harmonizing of laws pertaining to child protection with international standards, as well as through creating awareness on the risk of mines/unexploded ordnance and small arms and light weapons and creating safe play areas for children by installing playgrounds in key cities affected by the conflict.


National Statistics System/Knowledge Management: UNICEF supports the Ministry of Planning and other partners in conducting household surveys for disaggregated data generation and data and management, thus optimizing the use of data on children and adolescents in social sector ministries so to improve social protection systems.


UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund)

  Area of support: Reproductive Health

 Reproductive Health: UNFPA is supporting the upgrading of service provision and utilization of the reproductive health services in primary health care facilities and hospitals. This includes reviewing mid-wife training and improving training in obstetrics and neonatal care. Integral to the support provided is advocacy and awareness raising of women’s reproductive health rights.


Sexual Gender-based Violence (SGBV): In collaboration with MoSA and other relevant line ministries, civil society and communities, UNFPA is providing technical assistance to strengthen coordination between national actors to improve the national capacity to combat and respond to SGBV. Appropriate training, advocacy and awareness-raising are critical parts of the support being provided.


Youth Empowerment: In collaboration with government partners and civil society, UNFPA supports the Y-Peer group and the training of youth groups in life-skills (risky behaviour, substance abuse, etc.) and facilitates them to become positive change agents.


WHO (World Health Organisation)

Areas of support: Re-engineering of Health System


WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) to re-engineer the national health system and structures, from service delivery to financing to policy development, through supporting the development and implementation of the National Health Strategic Plan.



Health Governance and Leadership: WHO facilitated national consultations involving a large group of health professionals, political leadership, civil society, the private sector and other partners, to feed into the development of national health strategy.


Human Resources: Support is being provided to the MoH and MoHE, as well as the Nurses Association and other relevant partners, to develop strategies to address the shortage of qualified health personnel in Libya.


Service Delivery: WHO has worked closely with the MoH to complete a nation-wide assessment of primary health care facilities. An assessment of all hospitals will follow imminently.


Mental Health: In collaboration with the MoH and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), WHO is providing technical assistance to support the management of mental health care provisions and to ensure that mental health and psychosocial professionals attain the required skills. Much emphasis is placed on the need to adopt a community-based approach. Awareness-raising and providing information on access to mental health care in communities is a principal focus.


Information Management: Technical assistance is being provided to improve the Health Information System (HIS) at the national and hospital level, to improve planning. Hospital information systems have already been introduced in several hospitals in Benghazi and Tripoli.


Drugs Supply: During the conflict WHO assisted in the procurement of essentials drugs. Following this, an assessment of the entire drug procurement system is being carried out with a view to modernising the system.


Health Security: WHO is assisting Libya build the capacity necessary to implement the International Health Regulations by June 2014, in accordance with international agreements.


Health Promotion: In partnership with the MoH, MoP and MoFA, expertise is being provided to transform the NCDC into a regional and international centre of excellence for disease control and health promotion.

HIV/AIDS: (see UNAIDS below)

UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS)
Areas of of focus: coordination of response to HIV/AIDS


UNAIDS is collaborating with WHO to support the National HIV/AIDS Programme  through support to high-risk groups and providing appropriate treatment, as well as addressing the stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS. In July 2012, WHO/UNAIDS supported the MoH to hold a national symposium on HIV/AIDS in Tripoli.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation)
Areas of support: Agriculture, Natural Resource Management/Environment


 In July 2012, FAO and the Government of Libya signed a cooperation agreement to develop the country’s agricultural sector and food security, as well as to protect natural resources. The programme is now under development.


Under the agreement, a number of priority areas have been identified in which FAO will provide support. These include: plant and animal health and production, pesticide management, seed development, natural resource management, capacity building and institutional strengthening. The agreement will include a number of strategic projects aimed at supporting Libya to address its development goals and priorities. Under the coordination of a FAO-Libya Programme Management Unit, projects within the agreement will aim to increase food production and improve productivity while preserving natural resources such as water, all with the goal of improving food security in the country.

UNODC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime)

Areas of support: Anti-corruption, Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS, Rule of Law


Anti-corruption: Technical assistance is being provided to the National Board for Economic Development to promote transparency and integrity, as well as to strengthen anti-corruption measures in Libya in order to ensure compliance with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). UNODC has collaborated with Government to develop a national anti-corruption strategy. Promoting judicial integrity and accountability in the public sector as well as to combat tax evasion are likewise areas of focus.


Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS: In close collaboration with the MoH and NCDC, UNODC is supporting the development of national strategies for the prevention of drug dependency and for the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst the injecting drug users, particularly in prisons. Support is being given to ensure the provision of appropriate services for drug users such as treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare services are available.


Rule of Law: UNODC works closely with the Ministry of Justice on criminal justice reform. Technical assistance is being provided to modernize legislation in juvenile justice and penal reform with a focus on improveing detention and rehabilitation facilities. The capacity of the Judiciary Institute is being strengthened and case management improved. Furthermore, a review of the forensic facility of the MoJ is being carried out.

Areas of support: Urban & Regional Planning, Housing


Urban Planning: UNHabitat is focusing on the institutional development of the Urban Planning Agency (UPA) and building the capacity of the agency’s staff. In addition, support is being provided for the preparation and implementation of a National Spatial Plan and the preparation of 500 urban plans for cities, towns and villages.

Housing: UPA is being supported to contribute to the urban recovery and rehabilitation in post-revolution Libya.

UNESCO (United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization)
Areas of support: Culture and Tourism, Urban & Regional Planning, Education and Scientific Research, Civil Society and Media


Culture and Tourism:UNESCO is supporting the Department of Antiquities (DoA) in the protection and conservation of cultural heritage in all its forms and expressions, including cultural property collections at risk. A centralised conservation laboratory is being established and training on the management of museum collections museum and storage conditions will be provided. In parallel, UNESCO is working with the DoA and other relevant national institutions to ensure the participation of local communities and groups, civil and religious authorities, in the protection and promotion of cultural heritage. Furthermore, the technical capacity of the DoA is being strengthened through the development of an Institutional Capacity Development Plan, training for effective conservation and management, strengthening of institutional frameworks, establishment of a national database for the cultural sector, etc. Awareness raising and the promotion of the importance of cultural heritage in Libya is a significant component of UNESCO’s support.


Education: Technical support is being provided to the Ministry of Education (MoE) and other educational institutions for the planning, management and formulation of educational policy, including support to the design and implementation of strategic plans at national and local levels. An initial workshop was held in June 2012 in Tripoli. As part of a regional UNESCO initiative, the MoE is being supported to strengthen the policies and provision of quality education in preparation for, during and after emergencies through INEE standards (Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies). UNESCO and the MoE are discussing a broad cooperation programme in the framework of quality assurance in national educational programmes.


Higher Education: UNESCO is working with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) to enhance the provision of ICT services and their appropriate utilization in the three pilot universities of Benghazi, Tripoli and Sabha, as well as in the MoHE itself and its Office for International Scholarships.


Scientific Research: UNESCO is supporting Libya to improve its scientific research capabilities through assisting to establish links with international research entities and the provision of equipment. In partnership with the Ministry of Industry, MoA, MoHE and National Academy for Scientific Research (NASR), UNESCO is supporting the creation of the first Marine Biology Research Centre in Libya and providing new equipment and specialist training to the Engineering Department of Sirte University and the Libyan National Seismological Network. Expertise is also being provided to modernize the Libyan Cell and Molecular Biology Center and the Macromolecular Centre of Libya. Within the context of the Great Man-Made River Project, UNESCO is also providing technical assistance to repair the water transport system and training to specialists, as well as the monitoring of the maintenance of the system once the repairs are completed.

UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)
Areas of support: Economic Recovery, Small and Medium Enterprises, Environment


 Environment: Within the framework of the Montreal Protocol, UNIDO is currently implementing activities to phase-out ozone-depleting substances. These include the phase-out of: methyl bromide in the horticultural sector, CFC and HCFC.

Economic Recovery: UNIDO initiated a dialogue with national counterparts to identify measures for SME development and job creation.

IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)
Areas of support: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Medicine


Nuclear Energy: IAEA supports the Libyan Atomic Energy Establishment (LAEE) through the provision of technical expertise and training related to the introduction of nuclear energy and the utilization of research reactors. Expertise and training is also provided on managing naturally occurring radioactive materials in the oil and gas industry.


Nuclear Medicine & Radiology: In partnership with the LAEE, IAEA is building national capacity in nuclear medicine and radiotherapy. Technical experts in radiotherapy and nuclear medicine, as well as training in these fields, is being provided to relevant staff in the Tripoli Medical Center. In addition, the Center is being equipped with Positron Emission Tomography, Computed Tomography and Cyclotron Clinical Applications and radiotherapy equipment.

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)

Areas of support: Refugees and Asylum-Seekers, Mixed Migration, Internally Displaced Persons, Training, Capacity Building



Refugees & Asylum-Seekers: UNHCR supports the Government and civil society in promoting a favourable protection environment for refugees and asylum-seekers. In coordination with the Government, UNHCR is progressively resuming registration and refugee status determination activities with the aim of eventually building the capacity of national asylum institutions. UNHCR also promotes and facilitates durable solutions of resettlement to third countries and voluntary repatriation of refugees. In partnership with NGOs, UNHCR supports the basic needs of refugees, asylum-seekers as well as Libyans through Community Development Centres where health clinic services, vocational training courses and psycho-social counseling are offered. With partners, UNHCR has established national legal aid clinics for refugees and asylum-seekers in need of legal services.


Mixed Migration: UNHCR supports the Libyan Government in addressing the challenges of mixed migration, including the development of protection-sensitive reception procedures and support for rescue at sea. UNHCR delivers core relief items to stranded asylum-seekers and vulnerable migrants, and together with partners, provides emergency health services for persons in detention. UNHCR is also developing training programmes to support the Ministry of Interior and Coast Guard in subjects such as human rights, refugee protection, asylum best practices, dealing with vulnerable persons and health assistance to persons rescued at sea.


Internally Displaced Persons: UNHCR supports the Libyan Government in promoting the immediate physical safety for, and eventual reconciliation and sustainable return of, internally displaced persons affected by conflict. UNHCR supports LibAid and other partners in camp coordination and management of IDP sites and provides community support projects for IDPs to empower their own communities, conflict management and dispute resolution for community leaders and the distribution of core relief items and hygiene kits to displaced populations. Together with partners, UNHCR has carried out a nation-wide assessment of damage to housing and shelters. An assessment of challenges related to housing, land and property rights was completed and the results are being disseminated. Possible restitution strategies for the displaced and frameworks for addressing contested ownership are being explored.


Preventing & Reducing the Risk of Statelessness: UNHCR is assisting the Government and civil society organizations to prevent and reduce the risk of statelessness among populations that lack citizenship documentation and birth registration. Members of Libyan civil society are currently participating in a Middle East regional training programme on addressing the risks of statelessness.


Training& Capacity-Building: In collaboration with NGO partners, UNHCR works to strengthen the capacity of LibAid, the national humanitarian relief organization, to respond to humanitarian crises, such as providing logistical support to the distribution of non-food items. UNHCR also collaborates with the University of Oxford and the University of Tripoli on workshops and a curriculum on refugee and displacement issues. UNHCR also provides training on human rights, displacement and protection for local authorities and civil society groups.

IOM (International Organization for Migration)

Areas of support: Health, Counter-Trafficking, Migration Issues



Health: IOM is supporting the MoH to meet the human resource gap in the health sector through facilitating the deployment of temporary health care workers from the region to Libya, as well as to provide technical assistance to assess and predict the labour market. Health care is also provided for migrant communities. With mental health being a national priority, a psychosocial diploma module was developed to address the longer-term need for more mental health professionals in partnership with the University of Tripoli . IOM is also providing psychosocial assistance for crisis affected adults and children in Libya.


Counter-trafficking: In support of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and the Government as a whole, IOM is assisting to increase the capacity of the judiciary to understand trafficking in Libya as well as to improve inter-governmental coordination to develop responses to the issue.


Migration Issues: IOM works with the Libyan government to assist the voluntary return of migrants from Libya to their country of origin, including establishing contact with the requisite embassies and government departments. In connection with this, support is provided to the Ministry of Interior and the Department to Combat Illegal Migration (DCIM), through the provision of technical assistance to establish biometric registration systems and develop operational procedures for transit centres, as well as to provide staff training. Support is also provided to eight migrant processing sites, to improve site management and build the capacity of the local authorities on migration issues.

WFP (World Food Programme)
WFP closed its programmes in December 2012 and no longer has a presence in Libya

Areas of support: Food security, assistance to conflict affected populations and capacity development with local partners


Food assistance: Since March 2011, food distributions reached those affected by the initiation of armed violence in Benghazi as well as populations fleeing to the border with Tunisia and Egypt. For the first time, WFP initiated cooked meals at newly constructed camps in Tunisia and Egypt, providing over 2.6 million meals to Libyan refugees and migrant workers who fled the country. In spite of security threats and limited access throughout the conflict, WFP continued to reach over 1.5 million people all over Libya with nearly 35,000mt of food. WFP has also supported the most vulnerable, third country nationls and IDPs with over US$ 2m worth of vouchers.


Capacity development: WFP worked with local partners to increase their capacity to respond to emergencies and provide food assistance to the most vulnerable. On -the-job training was provided to national counterparts and specialized training in assessments, project management and monitoring and evaluation were provided. With the closure of WFP operations in Libya by 30 Dec 2012, WFP has handed over a contingency stock to the Libyan Red Crescent to ensure rapid response in case of unforeseen emergency needs, until the end of the year. WFP will hand over the caseload from IDP camps in Benghazi and Tripoli who have been receiving WFP vouchers to LIBAID (the Government’s humanitarian arm). The hand-over will require WFP capacity building transferred to cooperating partners during October and November 2012 and provision of training on project implementation and hands-on assistance.

UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Services)

Areas of support: Mine Action & Battle Area Clearance, Risk Education



Risk Education: UNMAS collaborates with UNICEF and NGOs to provide mine risk education and create awareness of the hazards of mines, weapons, explosive remnants of war and unexploded ordnance in Libya. Risk education is aimed at both children and adults.


Mine Action & Battle Area Clearance: Together with NGOs and local authorities, UNMAS supports the Government through the coordination of the clearance of explosive remnants of war and unexploded ordnance and the re-securing of abandoned ammunition from un-secured open areas to official ammunition storage areas.

UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services)
Areas of support: Elections


UNOPS is working together with UNDP, IOM and UNSMIL to support the HNEC and the elections process.

World Bank

Areas of support: Public Financial Management, Infrastructure & Local Service Delivery, Economic Recovery, National Statistics System



Public Financial Management: In partnership with the IMF, the World Bank has completed the Public Financial Management Review. In support of the Ministry of Finance, technical experts are being provided on public procurement legislation and policy, public controlling and national account statistics. The World Bank is also supporting the Ministry of Justice and the Central Bank with stolen asset recovery.


National Statistics System: The World Bank is working with the Department of Statistics/ Ministry of Planning to establish a modern and functioning National Statistics System through the provision of capacity and technical assistance.

Economic Recovery: A Rapid Employment Assessment has been completed to provide a basis for effective employment policy and job creation initiatives. Reviews of the Financial and the Private Sectors are being. underway.


Infrastructure: In collaboration with Government, the World Bank is planning a series of workshops with the infrastructure line ministries on Renewable Energy, Water Management, Transport and Procurement.


Local Service Delivery: A series of four policy papers on local service delivery in Benghazi, Tripoli and Misrata are being completed. The papers include: (1) review of the draft Law on Local Governance, (2) public service institutional (functional) mapping and localities’ role in service delivery, (3) fiscal decentralization 1999-2005 lessons learned and (4) a participatory reconciliation, reconstruction and recovery (3Rs) Vision (2012-2017) for the war-affected city of Misrata.

Other agencies

 In line with the principle of the integrated mission, UNWomen and OCHOHR are integrated into UNSMIL. UNMAS activities relating to the security sector are implemented in collaboration with UNSMIL through the UNSMIL Arms and Ammunition Advisory Unit. (see the UNSMIL Information Note for more details)