Saving lives in Libya

UN Development Programme
5 min readJun 20, 2019

Since 2011, Libya has suffered repeated conflicts that left critical infrastructure and basic social services destroyed. The violence continues in some parts of Tripoli.

UNDP Libya is responding to the short-term urgent needs of the people and at the same time providing a long term and sustainable solution.

All over the country public facilities are not only affected directly by the conflict, but are also in a state of neglect due to the lack of maintenance.

Data from WHO reveals that 17 out of 97 hospitals are closed and only four hospitals are functioning at only 75–80 percent capacity. Over 20 percent of primary health care facilities are closed.

Atia Kaseh General Hospital is the largest and oldest medical centre in the southeast region. It serves more than 80,000 people in Al-Kufra and neighbouring cities such as Tazirbu and Rabiana.

The medical centre was damaged by the conflicts that the city witnessed in recent years and its upkeep had been neglected.

“I was born in Al Kufra and studied nursing here. All newborns in the city of Al Kufra and nearby villages are born in Atia Al-Kaseh Hospital, which had not been rehabilitated since 2006,” said Fatima Musa, who works in the hospital as a nurse.

A rehabilitated bathroom in Atia Al Kaseh Hospital, Alkufra, Libya.
Newly renovated stairs, Atia Al Kaseh Hospital, Alkufra, Libya.

“Sometimes the patients entered directly to the operation rooms or the ICU because there was no emergency department. Then, we had to stop the operations and deal with the new patients,” she says.

When hospitals cannot perform all their functions, people are forced to travel long distances to get healthcare. Finding safe transportation is not easy. Ambulances are not readily available, nor are they free.

Fathi Mohamed’s baby has a check-up, Atia Al Kaseh Hospital, Alkufra, Libya.

“I was forced to travel more than 1,000 kilometres to Benghazi or Ajdabiya for any surgery, especially when my wife was about to give birth. The hospital wasn’t close, but the level of services was very low. It was not easy for people to get a…

UN Development Programme

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