[PRESS RELEASE] Towards efficient agricultural water use in Libya

AICS and FAO in cooperation with the Ministry of Water Resources launch the project for monitoring, evaluation and rationalization of water use for the agriculture sector


Tripoli, 31st January 2022

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with Ministry of Water Resources in Libya, are launching the project “Monitoring, evaluation and rationalization of water use for the agriculture sector in Libya” following the approval on 15th March 2021 of a 830.000 Euro-grant by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI). In the presence of the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Tariq Abdel, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr Mohamed Bashir Al Turki, the Italian Embassy in Tripoli and key stakeholders in the water management sector – at institutional, academic, scientific and civil society levels – meet today around a virtual table to discuss the next steps of the project and the methodology to be followed.

Through the results of this project, an assessment of the water use for the agricultural sector will be undertaken to support monitoring, evaluation, and rationalization of this use of water, and to enhance agricultural water management performance, particularly water consumption and productivity. As a result, a strategic plan for water resources management that reviews the water, food and energy needs will be formulated.

In this respect, in his opening speech, H.E Mr. Tariq Abdel Salam Abu Falika – Minister of Water Resources said: “we look forward to the contribution of this project in building a cooperative framework between the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and all partners at the national and local levels”.

Overall, the expected impact of the project is that food security in Libya, particularly in the Fezzan region, will be strengthened through more efficient use of agricultural water, while preventing acute water shortages, environmental degradation, and mass population displacement.

To materialize this impact, H.E Mr. Mohamed Bashir Al Turki – Deputy Minister of Agriculture Reclamation Affairs said: “there is a need for coordination, communication and exchange of information and experiences between national sectors to build a cooperative framework between the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Water Resources and all national partners to share data, systems and experiences”.

Through this two-year initiative, AICS, FAO and the Libyan authorities are strengthening their partnership in order to build national capacities for a performant use of agriculture water in the country in general and in the Fezzan region in particular, considering that Libya is characterized by an absolute water scarcity with its annual per capita Internal Renewable Water Resources (IRWR) around 106 m3/capita/yr.

“This is a project of pivotal importance for the Italian Cooperation in Libya since it is crucial for the survival and improvement of essential living conditions, such as food security, agriculture and water. At the same time, it aims at strengthening capacity, knowledge, and sector coordination”, said Mr. Andrea Senatori, Director of AICS Tunis Regional Office.

Moreover, this project falls under the umbrella of the FAO Regional Water Scarcity Initiative and aims to strengthen the capacities of national institutions for the monitoring, evaluation and rationalization of water use for agriculture sector using geospatial technologies. “With this project, FAO is responding to three national strategic priorities: firstly, sustainable increase in crop productivity and raising levels of food safety standards; secondly, expansion of the use and sustainable management of natural agricultural resources; and thirdly, capacity building and improvement in services to support the agricultural sectors”, said Mr. Philippe Ankers, Libya FAO Representative ad interim.



AICS Tunis Regional Office
Communication Office: martina.palazzo@aics.gov.it; comunicazione.tunisi@aics.gov.it

FAO Tunis Sub-Regional Office
Communication Office: Faten.Aouadi@fao.org; FAO-SNEA@fao.org

Ministry of Water Resources of Libya
National Project Coordinator: solabboud@yahoo.co.uk


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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

Launch of a Geospatial Platform in Libya

Comunicato stampa – Lancio di una piattaforma geospaziale per il supporto alla gestione sostenibile dei terreni coltivati e dell’acqua in Libia – In inglese


Launch of a Geospatial Platform for supporting sustainable cropland and water management in Libya

 An essential tool for making informed decisions in agricultural development using advanced information and data.

Tripoli, 28th March: The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, and the Libyan Centre for Remote Sensing and Space Science are launching the “MerWat-Libya” Geospatial Platform. This platform will provide geospatial information to support water resource management in Libya and will enable national partners to access a vast amount of spatial information to support sustainable water and crop production while considering available natural resources.

The Geospatial platform is one of the main results of the project “Monitoring, Evaluation and Rationalization of Water Use for the Agricultural Sector in Libya”, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), through a 830,000 euros-grant. This innovative tool serves as a hub for digital data exchange and dialogue, underscoring the growing importance of geospatial technology in modern agriculture. It offers comprehensive capabilities for accessing, storing, processing, and analyzing spatial data and it is essential for making informed decisions in agricultural development using advanced geospatial information and data. It also incorporates datasets on crop types, cultivated field boundaries, hydrological basins, and soil classification, empowering stakeholders with precise information for informed decision-making.

During the launch event, the MerWat-Libya Geospatial Platform was presented to key stakeholders in the land and water management, agriculture and environment sectors. The presentation provided a clear overview of the structure, components and usage guidelines of the platform, and was attended by representatives from institutions, academia, science and civil society.

Deputy Ambassador Riccardo Villa, underscores the critical role of the MerWat-Libya Geospatial Platform in strengthening the partnership between Italy and Libya. “This technological leap marks a significant stride towards shared goals of sustainability and resilience in agricultural practices. A demonstration of Italy’s leadership and commitment to leveraging knowledge and technology for impactful decisions in the agriculture and environment sectors, in close collaboration with the UN and for the direct benefit of partner countries.”

A. Maki Abdourahman, representing FAO-Libya, underlined the importance of the achievement of this project. He highlighted the fruitful cooperation with all national partners and underlined that the MerWat-Libya Geospatial Platform is now operational as a national information platform. It supports sustainable land and water management by providing access to information on crop and water use and sustainable practices. This is a significant step forward in water, agriculture and environmental management in Libya,” said M. A.Maki, adding that the platform is embedded in FAO’s open-access Hand in Hand (HIH) for evidence-based acceleration of agricultural transformation towards food security.

The core team of national institutions, including the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, and the Libyan Remote Sensing and Space Science, presented, approved and signed a partnership and collaboration agreement for the Libyan Geospatial Platform to ensure its sustainability.

A visit to the offices hosting the platform, including the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Libya Remote Sensing and Space Science and Fezzan, concluded the formal launch of the MerWat-Libya Geospatial Platform. Looking forward, the MerWat-Libya Geospatial Platform aims to integrate emerging technologies, expand data resources, and enhance user experiences. This commitment to innovation is expected to foster sustainable agricultural practices, improve water resource management, and contribute to Libya’s environmental and economic development.

For further information and to explore the MerWat-Libya Geospatial Platform, please visit: https://data.apps.fao.org/merwat-libya/?lang=en

For more information about the project:

Press contact:

Faten Aouadi, FAO Communication Officer

Email: faten.aouadi@fao.org

Marion Piccio, AICS Communication expert

Email: marion.piccio@aics.gov.it