Libya is a dangerous place for all children, but those suffering through serious illness and from the most vulnerable groups of people often face the highest risks.

It is currently extremely difficult for children from specific groups suffering complicated illnesses to get the treatment they need in Libya. Rather than being able to look to the future with confidence, they are forced to fight for their lives day after day.

In a small step to combat this, Terre des Hommes Italy has teamed up with Mediterranean Hope to provide medical care to children in Libya with serious illnesses who belong to the most vulnerable groups. The project will provide specialist healthcare and assistance in Libya, Tunisia and Italy to around a dozen children with specialised needs from various Libya cities.

“The protection of children is the basis of our mission,” said Bruno Neri, director or Terre des Hommes Italy projects in Libya. “It is extremely difficult for some sections of the population to access specialised healthcare, and many children with serious illnesses have no chance of receiving adequate treatment.”

Treating children in Libya, Tunisia and Italy

Two partner hospitals in Libya, the Tripoli Children’s Hospital and Zintan Municipality Hospital, are currently evaluating cases to identify the most effective treatments. Children will then be transferred to either local hospitals in Libya, hospitals in Tunis, Tunisia or the Istituto Giannina Gaslini – a children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy.

“It is a small project, with very limited numbers, launched in a country which is anything but safe and stable,” said Paolo Naso, coordinator of Mediterranean Hope. “But this project is part of a more general commitment to protect the right of asylum and international protection, and reinforces our request for a large humanitarian corridor to be created from Libya towards Europe.”

The project is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, and Mediterranean Hope is a refugee and migrant programme run by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy.

Pic: ©Francesco Piobbichi