[PRESS RELEASE] The Italian government strengthens its long-standing cooperation with UNICEF and supports Sahrawi children’s access to quality health and education

Algiers, 1st February 2022

As part of the support strategy for “education in emergencies” and in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the Sahrawi population, the Italian government, a long-standing strategic partner of UNICEF, has allocated an envelope of 500,000 euros to continue to support the schooling of 40,000 Sahrawi children and to improve the health services in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

This humanitarian funding will allow UNICEF and its partners to ensure inclusive access to safe and quality education for all Sahrawi children living in the 5 refugee camps in Tindouf, including 8000 children in pre-schooling age, with special attention to the most vulnerable ones. In line with the five-year education strategy (2021-2025), the intervention will also support efforts to build the capacity of Sahrawi education personnel, including pre-school teaching staff, in order to provide a more inclusive and qualitative educational service from the very beginning.

Furthermore, with regard to health, this contribution from the Italian government will aim to ensure continuous access to health services, in particular to quality maternal and child vaccination for more than 20,000 children under 5 and their mothers, thanks in particular to the acquisition of essential medical equipment and the strengthening of the health personnel’s capacities.

“The Italian Cooperation intends to continue to support UNICEF to guarantee and protect the essential rights of children, such as the rights to education and health. In a humanitarian context, these rights cannot be denied. Schools must be a place of learning, development, and growth for every child, without any exclusion. Health care is an obligation for every person, especially the most vulnerable one”, says Mr. Andrea Senatori, Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) – Tunis Regional Office.

“Italy is always committed to defending and promoting human rights, also in humanitarian crises and in the most vulnerable contexts, such as that of the Sahrawi camps. We are proud to be able to contribute to the activities of a partner like UNICEF, capable of bringing real added value in such a delicate context,” adds the Italian Ambassador to Algeria, Giovanni Pugliese.

“I thank the Italian government for this important contribution which is essential to ensure the continuity of a programme that makes access to quality education and health a priority in the Saharawi refugee camps. But also, the renewed financial support of Italy confirms the sustainability of its strategic partnership with UNICEF”, declared Dr. Isselmou Boukhary, Representative of UNICEF Algeria.

This UNICEF intervention will have a duration of 12 months and will end in early 2023.

Download the press release ENG | FR

Italy and UNFPA support women in need of assistance by enhancing access to emergency obstetric and newborn care and protection services for GBV survivors.

[Joint Press Release]

10th of December 2022, Tripoli

Today, the world marks the Human Rights Day and the end of the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV). The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are happy to officially launch the project ‘Provision of integrated emergency reproductive health and gender based violence response services to the most vulnerable population in Libya’ as a contribution to ending GBV and preventable maternal deaths in Libya.

Through a financial support of 750.000 € to UNFPA in Libya, the Government of Italy commits to enhancing access to integrated life-saving emergency obstetric and newborn care and specialized protection services to 30.000 people in need and gender-based violence survivors especially in the South of Libya.

“Italy is committed towards the protection and the respect of human rights in Libya, which is one of the priority countries for the Italian cooperation. The key objectives of our projects aim at enhancing protection services for girls and women victims of violence and strengthening their role in the society. ” said Mr. Giuseppe Buccino, the Italian Ambassador to Libya.

Specifically, the AICS-funded project will increase access to lifesaving reproductive health services through different activities, such as the deployment of mobile medical teams and the delivery of specialized services to GBV survivors, the provision of medical supplies, capacity building for the health and social workers and awareness-raising campaigns for local communities. Amongst them, on the occasion of the international ‘16 days campaign’, the project envisaged a series of activities aimed at spreading information, supporting local community engagement and generating conversations about gender equality and respect.

“Gender equality, considered in all its dimensions, is one of the programmatic priorities of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. In Libya, thanks to our institutional and implementing partners, we focus on the GBV prevention and response, sexual and maternal health services. We act to better ensure protection and health for girls and women to increase their empowerment and social participation,” added Mr. Andrea Senatori, the Director of AICS Tunis Office.

Throughout the campaign, the Ministry of Social Affairs, AICS, UNFPA, and its partners organized various community-based activities, including social media messaging, podcasts, sport and artistic events, exhibitions, debates, open days at the different women and girls’ safe spaces to raise awareness on gender-based violence and mobilize support to improve the women and girls’ protection frameworks.

For the fourth consecutive year in Libya, the 16 Days of Activism campaign has advocated for and raised awareness on gender-based violence against women and girls under the global theme ‘’UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls’’.

“The 16 days of activism has been an excellent opportunity to foster the cooperation between UNFPA, AICS, the Libyan authorities and the local NGOs to institutionalize and support the effective implementation of safer and more inclusive legislations that protect women and girls in Libya. With the generous contribution of Italy, UNFPA will target women, men, girls and boys in Tripoli,  Benghazi, Sabha, Ghat and Zwilla” said Samir Anouti – UNFPA Country Representative a.i. in Libya.

AICS and UNFPA call on all stakeholders and allies to join efforts in establishing and implementing safer and more inclusive legislation to protect women and girls and end gender-based violence in Libya.



AICS Tunis Regional Office
Martina Palazzo, Communication Officer
E-mail: comunicazione.tunisi@aics.gov.it; martina.palazzo@aics.gov.it
Tel: +216 50 952 352

UNFPA Libya Country Office
Hafedh Ben Miled, Program Coordinator
E-mail: benmiled@unfpa.org;
Mobile: +216 98 755 435

>>>Download the joint press release in pdf