Zawya West – The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over the Abdullah Ben Zouber School to the Zawya West Municipality. The school building has undergone a substantial renovation financed under the EU’s “Baladiyati” programme and implemented by UNDP’s “Resilience4Libya” project.
Abdullah Ben Zouber is a preparatory school with originally nine classrooms located in the Zawya West. The school was never maintained or renovated, causing health and safety risks for the 160 students (70 boys and 90 girls) who attended the school as well as teachers and staff.
The US $200,000 – worth renovation project which included essential rehabilitation to the existing building as well as the addition of four classrooms and six restrooms to improve the quality of the learning environment and increase capacity for activities to retake place in the school.
Mayor of Zawya West, Mr. Abd Alkaream Al-Abah said during the handover ceremony: “Years of war and instability in the region has caused an increase in the number of displaced people as well as economic instability with the suspension of government support. This has had a negative impact on people’s daily lives. The project that we are inaugurating today comes as a successful and positive contribution to support educational institutions and we hope that our partnership with UNDP continues to develop urgently needed projects within the municipality”.
“This new school building is an important signal to the children of West Zawiya that a better future is possible after the war, that education is possible, that new perspectives are possible,” said Ms. Sandra Goffin, Head of Operations of the EU Delegation to Libya. “Our objective is to support equal opportunities in education for all children. We want to make sure youth find their place in society and can participate in building a peaceful and prosperous future for Libya”.
UNDP Resident Representative in Libya, Mr. Gerardo Noto, added: “Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development and peace. It is the most powerful force in our hands to ensure significant improvements within communities and to unlock the potential and innovation we need to build more resilient and sustainable societies. At this historical moment in Libya it is a clear sign that peace brings dividends and at the same time this support contributes as a building block for sustaining peace”.
The rehabilitation of the schools is aligned with the UNDP’s SLCRR project’s overall aim to strengthen municipalities’ capacity to improve people’s access to quality essential services including education, health, water and sanitation services.
The renovation was completed as part of “Strengthening Local Capacities for Resilience and Recovery-Resilience4Libya” (SLCRR) project funded by the European Union (EU) under the framework of the “Recovery, Stability and Socio-Economic Development in Libya – Baladiyati” programme.
The EU’s Baladiyati €50 million “Recovery, Stability and Socio-economic Development Programme” currently works with 24 municipalities across Libya with the aim to improve people’s access to quality public services such as education, health, water and sanitation. Baladiyati is implemented by the Italian development agency AICS, UNDP and UNICEF. It is the largest programme ever financed by the European Union in direct support of Libyan municipalities and of some of the most vulnerable communities in the country.
The programme in Libya is funded by the European Union through the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to improve living conditions and build resilience among vulnerable populations, including migrants, refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees and host communities.