Benghazi – As part of its efforts to help local authorities improve services they deliver to their people in Benghazi, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through the Stabilization Facility for Libya (SFL), handed over Al Kikhia Cultural House to Benghazi Municipality after its full renovation.
Before the conflict, Al Kikhia Cultural House was in very good shape and accommodated the main office for the Historical City Authority which had 75 staff. The institution hosted in the past several social and cultural activities. The House was famous for being a hub for all kinds of cultural events in the city.
Due to its location, in Benghazi downtown, the infrastructure was severely affected by the armed conflict and it was looted several times. Benghazi municipality prioritized the renovation of this facility to send a message to people in the city, the whole country and the world: areas affected by the conflict are full of life again so people can return.
The complex which consists of three buildings will be reused as the main office for the Historical City Authority. It will also host two committees in charge of rebuilding the area affected by the conflict. The two bodies are reviewing cases submitted by residents whose properties were damaged by the conflict and assessing damage for future renovation.
During the handover, Mr. Osama Alkeza, Head of International Organizations Committee at Benghazi Municipality on behalf of the Mayor stated: “We are thankful for UNDP projects in the city which has been supporting us during the most difficult times. Even though we have suffered from terrorism and destruction due to the war, we will overcome this battle through reconstruction and development. UNDP has completed many projects to bring back basic services to the municipality such as health, education, power and electricity, water, sanitation and hygiene, and now we are progressing towards sports and culture.”
UNDP Resident Representative in Libya, Mr. Gerardo Noto, declared: ''Renovation of Al Kikhia Cultural House is part of the support to more than 65 municipalities and over 75% of population in Libya that UNDP is providing to help them improve basic service delivery for their people and move forward to achieve 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNDP support to Benghazi Municipality amounts to a total of almost 15 million in the last few years. Today, we are making another very important and symbolic contribution towards stabilization in the Old Town of Benghazi and give an opportunity to residents to rebuild their community, social cohesion and the rich cultural life in the City.''
The SFL, implemented by UNDP with the support of the Government of Libya and 13 international partners, works in collaboration with national authorities and public companies to support municipalities to rehabilitate essential service facilities and boost capacities to improve basic service delivery around the country.
*masks and hand sanitizers were distributed during the event.