Humanitarian Health Action

WHO to procure essential supplies on behalf of the Libyan Government

Al Hekma Hospital. Physicians specializing in nephrology, neurology, psychiatry, oncology, cardiology, paediatrics and maxillofacial surgery are needed.
WHO EMRO/Baher Dewidar
Health partners are preparing a detailed list of supplies required to continue supporting health facilities in Misurata.

Current health situation in Libya

The conflict has substantially changed the country’s health status. In addition to noncommunicable diseases, that have traditionally been the main cause of morbidity and mortality, war-related traumas now dominate the health panorama, especially in urban areas. Stocks of essential supplies are running short and many will run out by September.

Request for the procurement of essential medicines

In response to the growing health crisis in Libya, the United Nations Sanctions Committee has approved the release of €100 million, from the Central Bank of Libya to WHO to ensure the provision of essential medicines, vaccines and medical supplies for the whole of the country. It is expected that the first tranche of supplies will cover 8 weeks of consumption.

With the initial €100 million funding, WHO will undertake the following activities:

  • Procure essential medicines and medical supplies as listed by the Libyan authorities and validated by WHO.
  • Work closely with current health authorities in Libya to draw up drug distribution plans and put systems in place to ensure that all medicines and medical supplies are received, stored, inventoried and distributed according to needs.
  • Establish an operational hub (in Malta and/or Brindisi), where WHO will work closely with WFP to optimize available logistic capacity.
  • Use all available transport options to distribute medical supplies to different areas within Libya.
  • With local health authorities, conduct regular joint inspections of health care facilities to monitor the availability and use of the drugs and medical supplies.
  • Work closely with Health Cluster partners to determine and respond to further medical supplies and transport needs.

Selection of priority items

While awaiting the receipt of these funds from the Bank which is handling the transfer, a list of priority items has been developed by WHO in collaboration with national authorities including the Ministry of Health in Tripoli and the Transitional National Council health authorities in Benghazi.

The list is based on the consumption of the Libyan health system prior to the conflict, on WHO norms and standards and on the essential drug list established few years ago by Libya with the support of WHO.

Distribution of the supplies

WHO has prepared a Concept of Operation to guide the practical aspects of the procurement and distribution. One of the main challenges will be to ensure that the medical supplies are reaching the population in need, particularly considering the current fuel crisis.

WHO will work closely with current health authorities in Libya to draw up distribution plans and put systems in place to ensure that all medicines and medical supplies are received, stored, inventoried and distributed according to needs.

care facilities to monitor the availability and use of the medicines and medical supplies.

Together with Health Cluster partners, WHO will determine and respond to further medical supplies and transport needs.

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