In Ghadames, Derj and Awal, DSRSG Gagnon highlights need for increased government support for sustainable development

26 May 2024

In Ghadames, Derj and Awal, DSRSG Gagnon highlights need for increased government support for sustainable development

GHADAMES – 26 May – On a three-day mission to Ghadames, Derj and Awal last week, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Georgette Gagnon, discussed  with more than  100 community leaders, youth and women their concerns and proposed solutions to advance sustainable development and peace in their communities, and how the government and the United Nations in Libya can further support their efforts. 

Representatives stressed their need for basic services, including improved healthcare and psychosocial support, inclusive education and community facilities, particularly for youth and women. They highlighted the large gap in employment opportunities and the lack of equal access to employment in the public sector. 

“I heard many concerns on the need for trained healthcare professionals, quality education facilities and wider infrastructure needs such as water, transportation and roads,” said DSRSG Gagnon. “Through the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, the UN in Libya has been working with the government to support communities, but more financial support is clearly needed from the government to ensure equal access to resources and opportunities for all,” she added.  

In a dedicated youth meeting in Ghadames city, DSRSG Gagnon also launched UNSMIL’s new youth strategy #YouEngage, with a focus on advocating for young women and men and offering training and networking opportunities to build their skills. Young people’s recommendations will be consolidated and relayed to decision-makers within Libya, and internationally, to ensure the voices of youth are amplified in national and local efforts to solve the country’s current challenges. 

“I had the great honor of visiting the old city of Ghadames and witnessing the efforts and plans to restore this unique city of peace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the oldest and most celebrated Saharan cities,” Gagnon said, highlighting the urgent need to secure and preserve Ghadames’ rich cultural and economic identity. 

As part of the mission, DSRSG Gagnon visited three sites in Awal, Derj and Ghadames where UNDP Libya is supporting sustainable development through the installation of solar panels to provide electricity for lighting in medical facilities, a mosque and throughout the Ghadames old city’s tourist trail.  The DSRSG visited a refurbished and equipped women’s training center in Derj and a primary school in urgent need of rehabilitation in Awal where she also met with municipal leaders and Touraeg notables to discuss the community’s concerns.   

“People in Ghadames, Derj and Awal spoke about the great human and economic potential in their communities to advance sustainable development,” Gagnon said, adding that such potential can be fully realized with increased development support and investment from government. 

The UN in Libya will continue to support and work with communities and government authorities across Libya to accelerate sustainable peace and development for the benefit of all people in the country.