Libya COVID-dedicated funding lost in accusations of corruption within GNA administration offices

Libya COVID-dedicated funding lost in accusations of corruption within GNA administration offices

(LibyaNN)- Libya has seen a very sharp increase in the daily number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Health Ministry have reported about 50,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 700 deaths to WHO as of today. Now if those 50,000 are current active cases or total cases till now is unclear. Local and international health officials should be highly concerned on unreliable numbers in reporting, as there are limited testing and in addition central administration is lacking in providing a sense of safety to its citizens to travel for seeking any medical aid. Not to forget the current situation also demands fees for such medical testing and unfortunately citizens are lacking on that also. Considering all these factors analysts suggests that Libya’s total number of COVID-19 cases are significantly higher than the reported number of cases.

Libya’s National Center for Disease Control announced about an approximate 553 new corona virus cases in early August, which was highest daily number of infections back then. 210 deaths and 11,834 as total number of COVID-19 cases were reported in August 2020 by the government. If taken as reported with all deficiencies associated to what the real or actual count is, the news stand is growing exponentially at 5 times the rate since. WHO and OSHA guidance also requires reports on COVID-19 infections and fatalities within eight hours, and provided the death occurs within 30 days.

The GNA government was urged to respond to calls for COVID-dedicated funding, as well as to ramp up support to the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan, which is seriously underfunded. According to sources only 14 percent of the total needed to address cases are urgent concerns. According to UN sources, the lack of financial aid from government is a big roadblock to combat the pandemic and to ensure that the existing vulnerabilities are not worsen.

Tripoli based internationally recognised Libyan government (GNA) announced in March 2020, allocation of LD75 million (55 million USD) to municipalities across Libya. The amount from the “Emergency Budget” came in implementation of what was agreed at the government’s 17 March meeting with Municipality mayors to counter the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In addition, the European Union said to have mobilised €20 million (LD 33 million) to assist Libya in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this fund is to contribute to the improvement of detection of COVID-19 cases at national level and for surveillance mechanisms in the fight against the spread of the corona virus. This financial aid will also be used to boost the preventive measures and to support to Libya’s national health system. This EU support will specifically assist Libya’s most vulnerable communities affected by conflict, forced displacement and migration.

Ministers of the President council reported today that it has no clue on how and where the money from such funding was spent, whereas municipalities on other hand claim that they only received a fraction of funding from the promised and allocated funding. Some argue that cities considered on the higher footing inside the government have received much of the missing funds. Amid all this confusion and allegation, the normal citizens of Libya are facing the real crisis and threat to their health, safety and future.