The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Libya welcomed last Thursday a contribution of approx. US$ 355,000) from the Czech Republic to support the rehabilitation of the Food and Drug Control Centre (FDCC) laboratory in Benghazi. Through this project, WFP aims to provide the centre with advanced equipment and technical training to improve its capacity.
As a legal body entrusted with the authority to regulate the safety and quality of food and medicine, the FDCC plays a key role in ensuring that all imported food and drugs meet the Libyan standard specifications, WFP explained.
Libya imports 80 percent of its food consumption requirements, and up to 90 percent of its cereal requirements. The main staple foods imported are wheat flour, maize oil and milk, corresponding to about 40 percent of all agricultural products imported, it added.
“WFP is extremely grateful to the Government of the Czech Republic for this generous contribution, coming at a crucial time in a world struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 and the conflict in Ukraine,” said Maysaa AlGhribawy, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in Libya.
The Czech support to the Benghazi FDCC follows a previous contribution to WFP for the rehabilitation of the main FDCC in Tripoli which helped WFP to fully upgrade the Centre’s infrastructure. “Access to safe food and medicine is a basic right of citizens and requires well-resourced reference laboratories, said Jan Vyčítal, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Libya and Tunisia. “The Czech Republic is glad to contribute to the FDCC fulfilling its important role both in Tripoli and Benghazi, the two main entry points of all imports.”
Both Czech contributions allow WFP to support the Libyan government in its mission to ensure the circulation of healthy food and medicine across the country, while empowering key staff through technical training.
The centres were established as independent entities with a legal character, entrusted with all the procedural, executive, and supervisory tasks carried out by existing authorities to ensure the safety of food and medicine for humans and animals, in a context where market functionality has been greatly affected by global supply chain disruptions.