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European Union; Libya: Assistance Package Authorized and Bank Funds Released

(Jan. 11, 2012) On December 15, 2011, in response to a request made by Libyan authorities, the European Union adopted a package of assistance for Libya, in an effort to assist civil society and facilitate the stabilization process in the post-Gaddafi era in that country. The package, which amounts to a total of €10 million (about US$12 million) and is financed by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, will also provide assistance to public administration activities, such as training courses, including high-level instruction in legal, financial, and administrative matters. Since the crisis in Libya emerged, the EU has provided more than €156 million in humanitarian support and sent EU civil protection teams and assets to Libya. (Press Release, , IP/11/555, European Commission, EU Helps to Further Stabilise Libya Through Support for Education, Administration and Civil Society (Dec. 15, 2011).)

The package also funds an education program designed to assist children to receive quality education, with an emphasis on children who are in the greatest need. In particular, it includes activities focusing on teacher training and improving textbooks and other teaching materials to eliminate possible gender and ethnic discrimination. (Id.)

The funds will be distributed as follows: €3.1 million will be given for civil society support, €4.5 million euro will go to strengthening public administration activities, and €2.4 million will be for improvements in the education sector. (Id).

On December 21, the Council of the EU ordered the unfreezing of all funds of the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank held in the EU, with the objective of boosting the national economy and assisting the new Libyan authorities. The Council maintained a partial freeze of assets of the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Investment Portfolio. The decision of the Council entered into force on December 22, 2011, upon its publication in the OFFICIAL JOURNAL of the EU. (Press Release, PRES/11/505, Council of the EU, EU Unfreezes Libyan Funds (Dec. 21, 2011).)