The authorities in eastern Libya announced on Wednesday the creation of a fund for the reconstruction of Derna, a city devastated by deadly floods, where a conference is due to be held on October 10 to prepare the first "projects".
In a press release, the eastern government said it had given its "approval to the creation of a fund for the reconstruction of the city of Derna and the areas affected" by the September 10 floods.
Although not recognized internationally, the executive also "confirmed" that an "international conference" on reconstruction, announced on September 22, would be held in Derna on October 10.
This "conference" will be "open to international companies", said the eastern government on Wednesday, which had initially called on the entire "international community" to take part.
The rival UN-recognized government based in the western capital Tripoli has so far ignored these announcements and has not said whether it will send representatives.
For its part, the Benghazi executive has not specified how the new fund will be financed, but the parliament, also based in the east, has already allocated 10 billion dinars (1.9 billion euros) to reconstruction projects.
Libya has been riven by divisions since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and is governed by two rival administrations: one in the west, headed by Abdelhamid Dbeibah, and the other in the east, embodied by the Parliament and affiliated to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Riddled by internal strife since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya is governed by two rival administrations: one in the west led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah, the other in the east, embodied by Parliament and affiliated to the camp of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
"Institutionally", the eastern authorities "do not exist as they are not recognized internationally", so "it is unlikely that countries will give money to the east", Jalel Harchaoui, Libya specialist at the British Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told AFP.
"In all likelihood, (international) funds would have to pass through Tripoli", he said, stressing that the Dbeibah government was seeking to take advantage of the tragedy to unlock Libya's foreign assets and investments.
Tens of billions of dollars of these assets, managed by the sovereign wealth fund Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), had been sequestered in 2011 by the UN to prevent misappropriation.
The floods, caused by storm Daniel and amplified by the bursting of two dams upstream from Derna, have claimed 3,893 lives, according to the latest provisional death toll announced on Tuesday by the government in the east.