UN calls for help in rebuilding Derna as costs pile up

Libya allocates half a billion for post-flood repairs in rebuilding Derna efforts

ALBAWABA – The Libyan government announced allocating half a billion dollars to the national reconstruction fund on Monday to finance efforts aimed at rebuilding Derna and Benghazi, the coastal Libyan cities destroyed in the floods caused by Storm Daniel last week.

The United Nations (UN) called on the international community to help with efforts for rebuilding Derna, as the Libyan government allocated $446 million for post-flood repairs.

Rebuilding Derna is vital but aiding the displaced is the priority

Meanwhile, the UN Development Programme says humanitarian partners are requesting $71.4 million to respond to the most urgent needs of 250,000 people, out of 884,000 estimated to be in need of aid, CNBC reported.

Last week, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Rula Amin reaffirmed that the destruction that hit Derna was unfathomable.

Rebuilding Derna – This handout photograph taken and released by French Civil Security (“Securite Civile”) on September 17, 2023 shows the “hopital de campagne”, medical and surgical facility, displayed in the area of Derna, after two dams that burst in a hurricane-strength storm, unleashing a wall of water killed thousands in the Libyan port of Derna. (Photo by Handout / Securite Civile / AFP)

UN Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths announced a $10 million emergency financial aid package for Libya.

Other countries pledged support, including the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Turkey, Italy, and the United Arab Emirates.

No estimates yet for the costs of rebuilding Derna

So far, no precise or comprehensive estimates have been provided, but the projected damages exceed the $67 million needed just to rebuild bridges and roads in the city, news agencies reported.

Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, the head of Libya’s Tripoli-based unity government, has announced the establishment of the Benghazi and Derna Cities Reconstruction Fund, founded in 2021. The fund was intended to help with the reconstruction of the two cities after years of war.

Now, entire neighbourhoods and districts in Derna have been laid to waste with hundreds of thousands displaced and thousands dead or missing.

Rebuilding Derna – Damaged vehicles lie in mud following deadly flash floods in Libya’s eastern city of Derna September 18, 2023. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)

Libya has endured years of civil war that has ravaged the country’s infrastructure and economy.

The cost of the conflict in Libya is estimated at $161.6 billion, Relief Web reported in 2021, not counting the intangible and human loss and damages and lost economic opportunities.

“Two billion Libyan dinars were allocated for the reconstruction of the affected municipalities that were destroyed by the floods,” the official Hokomitna platform reported last Tuesday.

Rebuilding Derna: Where to begin?

Dbeibeh instructed “the Transportation Projects Implementation Agency to contract with specialised international companies to reconstruct concrete culverts and maintain a number of bridges in the affected areas in the east of the country.”

“The network of roads and bridges in Derna has totally collapsed,” Al-Hussein Sweidan, head of the roads and bridges department in the Tripoli-based government, told Anadolu news agency.

Rebuilding Derna – This picture shows destruction in the aftermath of flash flooding caused by Storm Daniel in Libya’s eastern port city of Derna on September 17, 2023. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP)

He estimated the cost to rebuild damaged roads and bridges in the city at around $67 million, not including infrastructure.

Torrential rains from the powerful cyclone swept several areas on Sunday in eastern Libya, most notably Benghazi, Al Bayda and Al-Marj, as well as Soussa and Derna. But the latter suffered catastrophic damages as the damn holding the Derna River waters collapsed, flooding and destroying entire areas within the city.

Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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