2011 was a traumatic, terrifying but ultimately liberating year for the people of Libya as an armed uprising became a nationwide conflict which brought an end to Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s 42 year long dictatorship. Official estimates suggest up to 30,000 people were killed during the conflict with nearly 800,000 people fleeing across borders into neighbouring countries. Years of underinvestment in Libya’s health system, coupled with thousands of injuries from the war continue to place a heavy burden on the nation’s health infrastructure.
Throughout the conflict communities faced shortages of food, water, fuel, electricity and access to adequate health care. Health facilities were stretched to their limits, while supply chains for medications and medical supplies were cut and large numbers of foreign nurses departed the country, leaving facilities with urgent shortages of these critical staff and medical supplies.
International Medical Corps was among the first respondents to the crisis in Libya arriving within days of the uprising in Benghazi. As access permitted and needs were identified International Medical Corps teams expanded activities in a country-wide response, ultimately deploying 267 doctors & nurses and providing more than 95,000 medical consultations. We were also active in the Egyptian and Tunisian border regions that received large numbers of Libyans and third country nationals fleeing the violence.
As the conflict has now ended, the country is on the path to rebuilding. International Medical Corps has remained in Libya, shifting its programmes from emergency services to longer term projects aimed at supporting efforts to eliminate major gaps in health care and restore the necessary infrastructure. To do this, International Medical Corps is working with the Libyan health sector to address the primary health, mental health and rehabilitation needs of a country emerging from war.
International Medical Corps UK recognises the invaluable support of the following European donors to make our work possible.
Primary Health Care & Nursing Support