Libyan authorities postpone reconstruction conference for Derna
Authorities have postponed Derna's reconstruction conference to November 1-2 as efforts on reconstruction remain split.
Libya's eastern administration has postponed the reconstruction conference planned for October 10, which was organized for the devastated city of Derna.
Authorities pushed the event until November 1-2 to give participants time to submit "effective studies and projects" aimed at reconstructing efforts, according to the committee responsible for organizing and planning the conference for Derna.
The committee said in a statement that the conference will take place in both Derna and the eastern city of Benghazi, as the authorities expect international companies to attend the proceedings.
After NATO's military interference in Libya in 2011 and the eventual toppling and murder of its President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been plagued by in-fighting and maladministration, culminating in a divide in governance.
Currently, the internationally recognized Tripoli-based administration governs Western Libya, while Eastern Libya, including disaster-hit Derna, is run by an opposing government backed by military man Khalifa Haftar.
The United States has called on both administrations to unite their efforts in delivering aid to Derna.
"We urge Libyan authorities now to form such unified structures –- rather than launching separate efforts –- that represent the Libyan people without delay," US special envoy Richard Norland stated.
Aid hindered by political split
The conference itself has not seen the support of the Western administration under the leadership of interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, despite nationwide solidarity with the victims of the disaster.
Earlier on Wednesday, the eastern authorities had announced the creation of a fund for reconstruction efforts in Derna and other areas affected by the massive flood that occurred on September 10.
However, they did not give further details on how the fund would be financed or managed, even though Libya's House of Representatives allocated 10 million dinars ($2 million) to it.
Just a couple of days ago, the eastern administration said it is compensating residents of the disaster-affected areas by distributing banking cheques to local authorities.
UN envoy Abdoulaye Bathily called for a framework to monitor funds delivered for the reconstruction of Libya during talks with the European Commission.
"I... emphasized the need for a joint assessment of reconstruction needs of storm-affected areas to ensure the utmost accountability in the management of reconstruction resources," he stated.
The disaster, which occurred after heavy rains led to failures in dams situated outside the coastal city, has killed at least 3,893 people so far while around 9,000 people remain missing and are reportedly presumed dead.