It has been one year since the conflict in Libya – and specifically around Tripoli – significantly intensified. Global calls have been made for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow authorities to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the contrary is happening. So far, conflicting parties have used the shift of international attention away from Libya as an opportunity to escalate military operations.
LNA soldiers wearing protective masks in Libya March 21, 2020 Photo: Twitter/@Oded121351
The impact, response and consequences of the COVID19 crisis have an enormous impact on the lives and livelihoods of women in Libya. Libyan women already faced great challenges, such as gender-based violence and insecurity. The societal changes caused by COVID-19 may further exacerbate dangers.
“We are at home, but it is not safe to be at home, we say corona is below, and the war is above us. That’s the reality of people in Libya.”
Inas Miloud, Tamazight Women Movement
Women and Youth as Bridge Builders
Cordaid and Human Security Collective together with a diverse network of Libyan CSOs under the Dutch National Action Plan 1325 developed a policy brief as part of the ‘Women and Youth as Bridge Builders: Strengthening Resilience in Libya’ programme. The programme is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The policy brief aims to inform policymakers about the need for greater support to Libyan civil society in their call for an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.
Gendered approach in response to COVID-19
Civil society in Libya is asking the international community for structural and continued support to enhance human security and promote a response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a gendered approach.
Cordaid’s Libyan partners emphasize the importance for the international community to continue investing comprehensively in women’s rights and human security, rather than to shift their priorities solely to COVID-19 response.
“It is not easy to tackle such a crisis during war.”
Dr. Rida Altubuly, Director of Together We Build It in Tripoli
For more stories about the work of Libyan CSOs and activists from the Women and Youth as Bridge Builders program, you can also read the interviews with Dr. Rida Al Tubuly, Asma Khalifa or Sarah Mizran.
Also, check out this article and policy brief about the everyday risks an challenges that Libyan CSOs face while undertaking their important work.