Libyan children who fled violence in Libya with their parents look on from inside their tent at a newly opened refugee camp for Libyan families in Ramada, 25 km from the southern Tunisian-Libyan border of Dehiba, Tunisia. Credit: EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA
Libyan children who fled violence in Libya with their parents look on from inside their tent at a newly opened refugee camp for Libyan families in Ramada, 25 km from the southern Tunisian-Libyan border of Dehiba, Tunisia. Credit: EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA

A new project aims to bring medical support to the most vulnerable Libyan children. It's sponsored by Terre des Hommes and Mediterranean Hope and financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Mediterranean Hope, the refugee and migrant program of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), is kicking off a new program together with Terre des Hommes. The goal is to provide medical care to vulnerable Libyan children with serious illnesses in specialized structures in Libya, Tunisia, and Italy. 

The project is funded by the Tunis branch of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). 

The initiative 

Medical care and assistance will be given to about a dozen children with particular needs, from various Libyan cities. The project will pay for family costs during the various phases of hospitalization and care, given that the families have no means for providing adequate assistance for their children. 

In February, the two local project partners Tripoli Children's Hospital and Zintan Municipal Hospital (a city about 200 km west of Tripoli at the border with Tunisia) are evaluating the cases and providing diagnoses to identify possible care and the most efficient therapies. The children will then be transferred either to local hospital structures or to Tunis or Italy. The Gaslini Pediatric Hospital in Genoa in northern Italy has signed a collaboration agreement with Terre des Hommes and Mediterranean Hope-FCEI. 

'The protection of children is the basis of our mission'

Paolo Naso, coordinator for Mediterranean Hope, said despite the fact that the project is a small one with very limited numbers, it was significant because it is the first time that FCEI has started a project in collaboration with Terre des Hommes directly in Libya, launched "in a political situation that is anything but secure and stable."

The Mediterranean Hope program in an initiative called Medical Hope runs additional aid services in Libya to offer care that otherwise isn't available in the country. 

Bruno Neri, Libyan projects director for Terre des Hommes, said the protection of children "is the basis of our mission." 

"At this time in the country, for some parts of the population, it is extremely difficult to access specialized medical care, as I saw in a recent mission together with Dr.Luciano Griso, the director of Medical Hope," Neri said. "Many children with serious illnesses have no chance of receiving adequate care," he said.
 

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