International conference on rebuilding floods-ravaged cities pushed to November

The preparatory committee for organizing an international conference for the rebuilding of Derna after the floods that ravaged the Libyan coastal city said the date for holding the conference was pushed forward to 01 or 02 November instead of 10 October for technical reasons.

The committee, which was formed by the House of Representatives (HoR), said the delay of holding the conference aimed to allow participating companies sufficient time to prepare research and proposals that would be pivotal for the reconstruction projects in Derna.

“The postponement also stemmed from the calls of the floods-ravaged municipalities and international companies for having more time so they could take part in the reconstruction process.” The committee said.

In the meantime, the Special Envoy of the United States (US) to Libya, Richard Norland, said in a statement reported by the US embassy in the country that Libyans affected by the floods were struggling to rebuild their lives even as they coped with unimaginable personal loss.

“As focus on reconstruction increases, Libyans need to be assured public funds are used transparently, accountably, and that assistance goes to those in need. The international community is preparing to assist in this effort with financial and technical expertise.” Norland said.

He indicated that there would be necessary steps to take, saying that first, Libyans must establish the structures that would bring authorities from across the country together to agree on priority expenditures and ensure funds were efficiently and properly allocated.

“We urge Libyan authorities now to form such unified structures – rather than launching separate efforts – that represent the Libyan people without delay.” Norland remarked, saying that a proposal to hold a reconstruction conference in Benghazi on October 10 would be much more effective if it were conducted jointly and inclusively in coordination with institutions that manage resources and funding taking into account the best interests of the Libyan people.

Norland reiterated that such coordination would be essential to ensure flood victims receive the support they needed, adding that the US would continue to work with Libyan officials across the country and with the UN to support a reconstruction program which Libyans could trust.


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