The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs just announced it will finance the project “Monitoring, evaluation and rationalization of water use for the agriculture sector in Libya” with a contribution of €830.000

Libya: water and desert

The initiative, launched by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources of Libya, aims to shape a more efficient use of water resources in the field of agriculture in Libya. 

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. 

A virtual meeting 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 stakeholders in the water management sector addressed the implementation of the project and the methodology to be followed. 

Andrea Senatori, Director of AICS Tunis Regional Office
Andrea Senatori, Director of AICS Tunis Regional Office

The parties involved will assess water usage in the agricultural sector. The project aims at monitoring, evaluating, and rationalizing water usage and enhancing agricultural water management performances, particularly in terms of 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. 

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 agricultural water in the country in general and in the Fezzan region in particular, while preventing severe water shortages, environmental degradation and mass displacement of the population. 

A man collects drinking water in Libya
A man collects drinking water in Libya

To materialize this impact, 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.” 

Libya is characterized by absolute water scarcity. Its annual per capita Internal Renewable Water Resources (IRWR) is around 106 m3/capita/yr. The partnership between AICS, FAO, and Libyan represents an important opportunity for the agricultural development of Libya. Moreover, this project falls under the umbrella of the FAO Regional Water Scarcity Initiative.