The IOM Community Stabilization (CS) programme has supported local communities in Libya since 2016, addressing drivers of instability and conflict, and contributing to the restoration of normal social and economic life for Libyan communities and migrants.
Across Libya, the protracted crisis, weak security and poor service delivery has undermined community cohesion and resilience compounding political, social and economic challenges facing local communities. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased and exacerbated community-level conflicts, particularly in southern Libya, while unemployment and access to livelihoods are becoming increasingly challenging for youth and women, and the pull factors of the illegal economy have proven conducive to increase irregular migration activities and the presence of armed groups. Under the pressure of this instability, pre-existing tensions between people divided by tribe, race and ethnicity have become increasingly challenging, making the tasks of local governance and fair allocation of government resources ever more difficult.
Using a community-led approach, the CS programme works to create opportunities for vulnerable groups, create constructive interaction among divided and competing groups, building trust and increasing personal and community resilience. IOM achieves this by employing a participatory methodology that brings together local communities, tribal and community leaders and civil society organizations (CSOs) from diverse backgrounds to identify and prioritize targeted interventions to respond to community needs, including infrastructure projects and the provision of equipment to improve basic services.
Through three pillars of intervention, the objective of this approach is to:
- support local authorities to restore services and community infrastructure,
- strengthen social cohesion and community engagement and
- promote livelihood opportunities for vulnerable community members.
Interventions are designed on the recommendation of in-depth feasibility and conflict sensitivity assessments in each location. Assessments take into account local and national dynamics, stakeholders, risks and opportunities and the needs of communities, including marginalized groups.
The goal of the CS programme is to promote stability at a local level by contributing to both basic and inter-personal needs that, when met, build the community linkages required for social cohesion and sustainable development. IOM contributes towards the easing of tensions within diverse communities through capacity-building and social cohesion interventions, while supporting municipal governments to provide essential services, rehabilitate key infrastructure and promote economic development.
Areas of Intervention
- Support for Provision of Basic Services
IOM supports local authorities in delivering basic services for conflict-affected communities through the rehabilitation of infrastructure, including water and wastewater systems, schools and dormitories, recreational centres, clinics and playgrounds. IOM provides equipment, such as furniture for schools, medical equipment and generators for clinics, pumps for the water and wastewater companies, and equipment to municipal staff to improve their services. Projects are identified through a consultative process with local communities to engage and strengthen local capacity and foster their ownership and commitment to ongoing management of rehabilitated facilities.
- Promote and Facilitate Community Engagement and Social Cohesion
To bring together community groups from different backgrounds in a spirit of cooperation and to promote positive relationships and peaceful coexistence, IOM employs two approaches:
- Directly promote community engagement and social cohesion through community-based initiatives and training opportunities
- Support CSOs to implement projects involving different tribal groups, as well as migrants, internally displaced persons and returnees.
- Regeneration of Livelihood Opportunities
IOM supports individuals with vocational, entrepreneurial, business and marketing skills training to provide the trainees with support to start or enhance their businesses and enable income generation with toolkits and coaching. The programme also emphasizes economic diversity by supporting innovative and creative areas of entrepreneurship, technology, information technology and other sectors. Women and youth are the main beneficiaries under this pillar with the aim to support their employability in the local market.
The CS programme works in Al Kufra, Benghazi, Qatroun and Sabha, four areas heavily affected by conflict and displacement, with interventions that directly engage host communities, internally displaced persons and migrants. The programme is expected to expand to additional priority locations close to current programme areas, such as Ubari and Ashargiya in the Fezzan area in 2022.