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 Ambassador Norland and Minister Al-Jehaimi Discuss Bilateral Cooperation
in the Public Health Sector through USAID Support
April 30, 2020


U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland held a conversation with Libya’s Minister of Planning Taher Al-Jehaimi on April 28 to discuss Libya’s COVID-19 response and the United States’ ongoing commitment to help Libya through the pandemic. There is currently a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Libya, through the Ministry of Planning, which provides the framework for bilateral cooperation to strengthen Libya’s governance institutions; increase opportunities for economic participation and growth; and enhance Libya’s ability to address instability and conflict. In light of the United States’ recent announcement of an additional $6 million USD in COVID-19 assistance for Libya, Minister Al-Jehaimi expressed his commitment to the accountability systems currently in place to ensure that U.S. assistance goes to people in need in communities across Libya. The Ambassador and the Minister also discussed the importance of ensuring that Libya’s financial institutions work effectively in tandem to address the challenges posed across the country by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The additional $6 million USD contribution from the United States will provide technical assistance on infection prevention and control, support water and sanitation in selected health facilities, develop risk communication materials, and support community engagement activities that will benefit Libyans throughout the country.

Ambassador Norland emphasized that immediate efforts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis complement the United States’ prior investments in Libya over many years towards building the capacity of national- and local-level Libyan institutions, and that the U.S. will continue to stand firmly with the Libyan people.

U.S. Investments in Libya – Public Health and Development

Since 2011, the United States has invested more than $715 million in Libya’s public health and overall development, including in emergency health programs to help keep people healthy and stave off disease.

This assistance has supported the capabilities of many of the national and local institutions and organizations that are now leading the COVID-19 response. The United States is coordinating with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Local Government (MOLG) to improve the quality and availability of municipal primary health services to help ensure that all Libyans have equal access to reliable health services. In the last year, the United States provided support to equip medical clinics and worked with crisis committees to increase supplies and medical equipment available for local emergency response services.

With support from the United States, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) launched a national awareness campaign on COVID-19 prevention. The campaign includes over 100 billboards across 14 cities with life-saving advice about how to prevent COVID-19 transmission. The United States continues to support partner municipalities that have initiated efforts to raise awareness about COVID-19 and make more information available to Libya’s diverse communities to stop the disease’s spread.

The United States’ COVID-19 focused assistance complements and builds upon our other investments in Libya to date to improve the accountability of national and local institutions to deliver essential services, strengthen fiscal governance, support civil society and underrepresented groups, help Libya reform its energy sector, promote private sector development, diversify the economy, enhance electoral systems, support inclusive political processes, and increase the resilience of communities against drivers of instability and conflict.