IOM Promotes Community Stability and Development in Southern Libya
Libya - IOM Libya this week (19-20/9) brought together municipal and community leaders from Sabha in southern Libya, as well as Libyan Ministry representatives, to discuss shared goals and priorities for an IOM community stabilization programme.
The two-day meeting held in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, was opened by IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi, and was attended by nine representatives from the Sabha community, including the Mayor of Sabha, Hamed Rafeh Alhiali, and two representatives of the Libyan Ministry of Local Governance, Abdulmajid Abugrara and Fathi Cherif.
“It is a significant achievement to have been able to bring together these community leaders and bridge the divide between different groups across Sabha as a first step in building mutual understanding, collaboration and trust. On this basis we will work together closely to strengthen dialogue and stability, and to implement projects that will serve the good of Sabha as a whole,” said programme manager Sandra Huang.
The community leaders serve as the programme’s Community Management Committee (CMC), representing a cross section of the tribal groups present in Sabha. The committee will support the way forward for IOM’s community stabilization efforts, providing advice on local conditions and concerns, and joint recommendations on project priorities.
Community stability and social cohesion are critical in Sabha, which has become one of the biggest transit points on the migration route for migrants who enter southern Libya. Sabha residents also face challenges in security, social friction, and insufficient public services, such as electricity and water. These shortages can intensify a sense of marginalization and neglect.
Priorities defined by the CMC include the establishment of a Community Recreation Centre to promote social and cultural development; increasing and enhancing the delivery of essential services such as clean water, education and health through rehabilitation of facilities; promoting peace initiatives through training for local civil society organizations; support for inter and intra community dialogue; and stimulating livelihood and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth and other vulnerable groups.
“The project[s] will contribute directly to the stability of the country and I hope IOM will dedicate a lot of effort to succeed and pass it on to other cities in southern Libya,” said Cherif. “The local community will benefit on all levels and most of the projects will directly impact Libyan citizens,” he added.
IOM Libya’s community stabilization programme, which has the full support of the Ministry of Local Governance, aims to promote stability and development for IDPs, migrants and local host communities in Libya. The programme is funded by Germany and the European Union’s Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).