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Libya faces $1.8 billion reconstruction challenge after catastrophic flooding, says report

Libya faces $1.8 billion reconstruction challenge after catastrophic flooding, says report
25 Jan 2024 22:13

ISIDORA CIRIC (ABU DHABI)

Recovery and reconstruction efforts in eastern Libya are expected to cost approximately $1.8 billion following the devastating floods that struck the region in September, according to a joint report released by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the European Union on Wednesday night.

The disaster had a profound impact on approximately 1.5 million people, constituting 22% of Libya's population, who resided in the hardest-hit coastal and inland cities, the report said.

The Libya Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) utilised a globally recognised methodology to assess damages and losses across various sectors of the Libyan economy. Among the most severely affected areas were housing, the environment, cultural heritage sites, transportation, and water sectors. Housing, in particular, suffered immense damage, with over 18,500 houses either destroyed or damaged, equivalent to 7% of the country's housing stock.

The report estimates that infrastructure repairs will account for 70% of the total reconstruction costs, with housing representing the largest component. Damages and losses resulting from the flooding are estimated at $1.03 billion and $0.62 billion, respectively, totalling $1.65 billion. This represents 3.6% of Libya's GDP in 2022.

The impact of the disaster on the well-being of the Libyan population has been significant. Nearly 44,800 people were initially displaced, including 16,000 children. Access to healthcare and education has deteriorated, and food insecurity has risen in the affected areas.

In terms of education, out of 974 education facilities assessed, 15.9% have been partially damaged, while 3.8% have been totally destroyed by the floods.

In Derna, the Libyan city that was most heavily impacted by the disaster, 48.4% of schools were destroyed, while 38.7% were partially damaged, putting students at risk of missing school due to closures, road damage, and safety concerns. Vulnerable groups, including women, children, persons with disabilities, migrants, and the elderly, have borne the brunt of the disaster's consequences.

The flood that struck Libya's eastern port city of Derna in September 2023 has left a lasting mark, with recovery and reconstruction estimated at $1.8 billion. Storm Daniel, which made landfall on September 10, led to the collapse of two dams in Derna, resulting in the inundation of entire neighbourhoods.

In addition to the financial challenges, the humanitarian toll has been devastating, with the UN humanitarian agency OCHA confirming 4,352 deaths and over 8,000 missing persons, making Storm Daniel the deadliest storm in Africa since 1900. 
 

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