Portuguese city leads ARLEM-backed effort to develop local health-care services in Libya
The Portuguese city of Vila Real de Santo António organised a set of workshops, debates and study visits on health care services on 1-3 September for 12 Libyan experts and politicians in response to a call for support that Libyan mayors channelled through the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM).
The Libyan delegation in Vila Real de Santo António included the mayors and political representatives of Tripoli, Benghazi, Gharyan, Sebha, and Zintan.
The programme focused on the challenges facing providers of primary health care in Libya – senior health officials from Sirte, a city on the front line of clashes of fighters associated with Islamic State, were among those who attended – and on sharing examples of ways in which authorities in the Algarve region of Portugal seek to provide primary health care.
On 5 September, the Libyan politicians met several leading officials in the Barcelona offices of the Union for the Mediterranean.
The invitation by Vila Real de Santo António was a response to calls by Libyan mayors for support from European cities and regions in six specific areas. The request, which was presented by Abdlrauf Beitelmal, mayor of Tripoli, at a meeting in Nicosia in January 2015, prompted ARLEM to create a mechanism – 'the Nicosia platform' – through which to organise offers of help. The support also forms part of a long-term effort by the CoR to contribute to the EU's efforts to reduce instability in Libya.
Libyan municipalities have received similar support through the Nicosia platform in two other areas. The Murcia Region in Spain shared its expertise in water management in May 2016. In June, the Belgian city of Antwerp addressed problems of waste management.
(Source: EU Neighbourhood Info)