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Libya: International Efforts in the Wake of Derna's Devastation

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In an international conference addressing the reconstruction of Derna, a coastal city in Libya, following a catastrophic flood in September, Aqeela Al-Abbar, President of the Derna Reconstruction Conference, shared key insights into the ongoing efforts, Aqeela Al-Abbar, President of the Derna Reconstruction Conference:

"We received applications from 229 companies through our database, and after a thorough evaluation, we accepted 167 of them. This selection was based on our time constraints and specific criteria. It's essential to note that all applicants were highly regarded. Currently, we are fully committed to the reconstruction process. We have dedicated teams for public relations, engineering, and scientific expertise. Moreover, we've engaged stakeholders from the affected cities and towns, including their engineers, who will participate in an exhibition and contribute to a program called 'b2b.'"

The two-day conference, held in Derna and Benghazi, represents a significant step towards rebuilding the city. A total of 400 participants gathered for this crucial event, convened by Libya's eastern government.

On September 11, two aging dams in the mountains above Derna gave way, resulting in a catastrophic flood that swept through the city, causing extensive damage and loss of life. Estimates of the death toll vary between 4,000 and 11,000, emphasizing the magnitude of the disaster.

Most conference attendees are representatives of international delegations and companies specializing in infrastructure development and housing, as confirmed by the government in an official statement.

Libya has grappled with division between rival governments in the east and west for nearly a decade, marked by turmoil since the ousting and subsequent death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in the 2011 NATO-backed Arab Spring uprising.

The eastern and southern regions of the country have been under the control of General Khalifa Hifter and his self-declared Libyan National Army.

Following the devastating flood, calls from both inside and outside Libya for an international investigation reflect the deep-seated public mistrust in state institutions. Notably, the two dams responsible for the disaster had been neglected for decades, despite repeated warnings about their need for repair.

According to Libya's eastern government, the conference focuses on three primary areas: the environment, development, and future planning. General Khalifa Hifter and Ossama Hamad, the Prime Minister of the eastern Libyan government, were in attendance during both days of the conference.

It's noteworthy that representatives from Libya's western government, based in the capital Tripoli, did not participate in the conference, as reported by the rival administration.

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