2023 in Pictures: 12 Chapters, 12 Stories

UNDP Libya 2023 Wrapped Month by Month

January 1, 2024

Kids Playing at Ajdabiya park

©UNDP Libya/ Abdeladeem Ajaj

Every month, our team at UNDP dedicates itself to drive sustainable development for the Libyan people, from bustling Ghadames to sun-drenched Ubari. This journey wouldn't be possible without our steadfast partnerships with authorities and actors.

In this photo gallery, we take you on a journey through the year, showcasing the countless ways we've seen communities rise, hearts mend, and hope resurface, testament to the unwavering spirit that binds us all.

January Education resumed in Ubari 

Mabrouka attending class in Ubari

UNDP Libya/Abdeladeem Ajaj

After a seven-year hiatus due to conflict, Ubari native, Mabrouka is back to her studies at the University of Sebha, one of 400 students and teachers returning to the revived Faculty of Literature and Sciences. 

This reopening offers a beacon of hope and opportunity for diverse communities in Ubari and its surroundings, including displaced persons, Tuareg, Tebu, and Arab residents, all united by the pursuit of knowledge and a brighter future.

This initiative is part of UNDP's Local Peacebuilding and Resilience project supported by the European Union-funded Baladiyati program. 


February | Benghazi's Almanar Palace Blooms as a Civil Society Hub                

a musician plays the violin

UNDP Libya/Abdeladeem Ajaj


UNDP partnered with the Municipality of Benghazi and the Heritage Cities Authority to rehabilitate the historical ‘Almanar Palace’ into a new Civil Society Centre to foster initiatives that will benefit locals.

The centre in old Benghazi can accommodate up to 1,500 people, enabling engagement of women, youth, and vulnerable populations to ignite positive change.

This initiative is part of UNDP's Local Peacebuilding and Resilience project supported by the EU-funded Baladiyati program. 


March Sewage Solutions for Sebha: Cleaner Water for Healthier Lives  

Worker operating the sewage line

UNDP Libya/Abdeladeem Ajaj


For years, the Municipality of Sebha grappled with the consequences of an outdated sewage system. Overflowing waste contaminated groundwater and farming land, posing a significant threat to both the environment and public health. In response, UNDP provided crucial support in March, enabling the construction of a 2 km-long pipeline. This vital upgrade significantly improved sanitation services and drastically reduced the risk of sewage overflow, bringing much-needed relief and protection to Sebha's 199,000 residents.

This initiative is part of the UNDP's Local Peacebuilding and Resilience efforts in the South of Libya, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and through funding from the European Union.


April | Ajdabiya Finally Gets Its First Park!                                                               

Kids Playing at the new park in Ajdabiya

UNDP Libya/Abdeladeem Ajaj



Shade, swings, and sparkling lights for the families of Ajdabiya. The Red Crescent Park is the very first and sole vibrant public space offering a place for locals and visitors to chill, play, and connect at the heart of the city. 

UNDP supported the Ajdabiya Municipality to complete the rehabilitation of the Red Crescent Park, as part of the Baladiyati programme, with support from the European Union Africa Trust Fund.


May Driving Political Representation of Women in Government  

HNEC's regional conference on promoting women participation

UNDP Libya / Malek Elmaghrebi


The High National Elections Commission (HNEC) regional conference on promoting women was held earlier this year to drive women’s participation in government and politics. 

Libyan women’s overarching perseverance in politics despite being under-represented remains an inspiration throughout the year. 

This initiative was part of UNDP’s  efforts to accompany HNEC to prepare and hold inclusive and credible elections in Libya.


June | Solar-Powered Lights Illuminate the Pearl of the Desert                           

Solar panels in Derj as part of Peacebuilding efforts in the South funded by the EU

UNDP Libya/ Abdullah Hussin


Bringing green solutions to the culture-rich UNESCO site. UNDP supported the Municipality of Ghadames to install solar-powered street lights around Ghadames' old city. 

These solar street lights have been placed along the tourist roads, ensuring that 44 public and private facilities, including cafes, markets, and local authorities are properly lit. 

This Initiative was made through collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and support from the EU. 




July Staying Ready for Elections  

HNEC staff simulated polling procedures

UNDP Libya / Malek Elmaghrebi



The High National Election Commission (HNEC) staff honed their skills through simulated polling procedures, as part of UNDP’s training on electoral preparedness. This activity ensures that future elections are conducted transparently and efficiently.

UNDP is working to promote credible elections for the people of Libya through supporting HNEC.


August | Jamela the TEC+ Champion                                                                        

Ms Jamela Basher being announced as TEC+ Winner

UNDP Libya/Malek Elmaghrabi


TEC+ Business Accelerator Competition was concluded with Jamela Basher as winner and grantee for her startup; Al-Jameela sewing project. Jamela competed against 50 Libyan-led small projects.

Until today, The Ubari-born Jamela continues to dedicate her work to empowering women in the south, fostering opportunity and skills development through her thriving sewing project.

The initiative is part of UNDP's Local Peacebuilding and Resilience efforts, implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Tatweer Research, with funding from the European Union Africa Trust Fund. 




September An Unprecedented Disaster 

Remains of what was one day a Home

UNDP Libya / Abdeladeem Ajaj


In September, Storm Daniel’s exhaustive rains have led to loss of life and devastation unimaginable for the people in the eastern region of Libya.  Survivors grieve while clinging to the wreckage of their homes, grappling to rebuild both lives and hope.

As they heal, We stand with them.

In partnering with the Benghazi Derna Reconstruction Fund, UNDP works to support affected communities as they rebuild and recover. 


October | Arts for a Resilient South                                                                           

Side of the launching event

UNDP Libya / Malek Elmaghrebi


Art is a powerful tool to remove barriers, heal trauma and build bridges. The 'Arts for Peace' platform is an online space to solidify connections between cultural actors, art practitioners, and creatives – both with each other and with the world.

In late October, a launch event marked the platform's arrival, following 44 successful cultural events held across the Libyan south. 

This initiative was made possible with generous funding from the Italian Government.



November | Libya Office Welcomes Regional UNDP Chief 

UNDP Regional Director Abdullah Al-Dardari meeting with Libyan Prime Minister

PM Office


UNDP flourishes through strong partnerships and trust. This was further underscored by Dr. Abdullah Al-Dardari, UNDP  Regional Director, during his brief visit to Tripoli in November to reaffirm our commitment to supporting Libya's development priorities, especially in the wake of Storm Deniel’s implications.

In the course of his visit, a new partnership agreement was signed with the Reconstruction Fund for South Tripoli and Sahel Jfara to support in rehabilitating the conflict-affected infrastructure and improving public services in the area.


December | Ending on a Hopeful Note for Flood Survivors                                  

UNDP Team on the ground in Derna

UNDP Libya / Abdeladeem Ajaj 


Since Storm Daniel's devastation, UNDP has made Derna and surrounding areas a priority, conducting three site visits to assess the damage and connect directly with affected communities.

As we turn the page to a new year, we remember those lost with heavy hearts and unwavering resolve. Our commitment to supporting the survivors' long road to recovery remains steadfast.