Helping to rebuild Libya
Destruction in Tripoli
© picture alliance / dpa
With the end of the Gaddafi regime, Libya is set to make a fresh start. The fighting has left Libyan society deeply scarred. The country must now tackle state-building. Germany has provided rapid humanitarian aid and is working with the international community to support Libya’s state-building efforts.
The elections to a General National Congress in July 2012 and the forming of a Government in late October 2012 are important milestones on Libya’s road to democracy. A Commission is to draw up a new constitution for Libya. The present stage of this process will culminate in elections held in mid 2013 on the basis of the new constitution.
Tripoli (September 2011)
© picture alliance / dpa
The stabilization and democratization process now under way remains in great peril, however. There are still large quantities of small weapons in circulation and rivalry between militia groups poses a constant threat to law and order. Reconciliation among former adversaries is going to be a difficult and painful process.
The business sector, too, is still not back to normal despite the lifting of most sanctions. Since the state structures needed to tackle these problems effectively do not exist, establishing them must now be Libya’s first priority. Germany and the international community are providing assistance here.
Humanitarian aid and the destruction of weapons
Mine clearance in Libya
© picture alliance / Photoshot
When fighting broke out in Libya in February 2011, Germany immediately sent in humanitarian aid worth eight million euros in an effort to relieve the suffering of those affected by the conflict. German aid included emergency medical supplies, steps to evacuate and look after refugees, as well as food and medical supplies for the civilian population in Libya.
Germany is also helping to destroy munitions and mines and inform the population of the dangers. In addition, it supports projects for the control of small weapons. In the field of mine clearance, the Federal Foreign Office is promoting projects to the tune of 1.8 million euros from its humanitarian aid budget. Together with the United States, the Federal Foreign Office is also financing the establishment of the Libyan Mine Action Centre (LMAC) as the national authority for mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal and the control of small weapons. Germany has made 750,000 euros available here.
Germany is also working on securing chemical agents. The German Government announced in February 2013 that it is earmarking up to four million euros to finance a detonation furnace to destroy chemical weapons. Furthermore, the chemical weapons destruction plant in Ruwagha which Germany helped rebuild is to start destroying artillery shells filled with mustard gas in 2013.
To ensure better security of nuclear material used in research and medicine, as well as to prevent nuclear smuggling, a number of projects are currently being devised with Libyan officials in consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In the area of state-building, too, Germany is providing Libya with practical assistance. Under the aegis of the United Nations, the international community has offered the country support and systematic guidance for its reconstruction efforts. Germany has seconded experts to these missions. Germany is also supporting state-building with targeted projects.
Germany’s financial support for Libya aimed at promoting democratization now totals some 4.3 million euros. To support the elections to the General National Congress in July 2012, the German Government helped finance an election observation mission and the resulting analysis.
Desire for participation
© The Voice of Libyan Women
Germany is promoting projects to provide advice on drawing up a constitution, combating corruption and helping build civil society in Libya. Here, Libyan non governmental organizations working to promote women also receive support. The focus is on capacity-building and networking, promoting equal participation of women in all social processes and in political bodies, as well as on anchoring women’s rights in the new constitution and in laws.
Germany is also promoting independent professional reporting in Libya. Help is being provided for journalists and media centres as they perform their tasks linked to promoting democracy and preventing conflict.
Some German political foundations are also working in Libya.
Last updated 12.02.2013