Libya plans reconstruction conference in flood-stricken Derna

Libya’s eastern-based administration announced on Friday that it will convene an international conference next month in the flood-affected port city of Derna to support reconstruction endeavours.

A flash flood of tsunami-like proportions breached two deteriorating dams located upstream from Derna following a hurricane-strength storm that struck the region on September 10, resulting in the destruction of entire neighbourhoods and the displacement of thousands, with many being swept into the sea.

“The government invites the international community to participate in the conference planned for October 10 in Derna to present modern, rapid projects for the reconstruction of the city,” the administration said in a statement.

The conference is being organised in direct response to the appeals and demands from the residents of Derna, as well as other affected towns, in the aftermath of the devastating floods.

Since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising led to the overthrow and death of the long-standing dictator Moamer Kadhafi, Libya has been plagued by divisions, with two rival administrations contending for control.

In the capital Tripoli, there is a UN-backed, internationally recognized administration led by Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, while in the east, there is a competing administration supported by the military leader Khalifa Haftar.

The official death toll from the flood currently stands at over 3,300. However, the final count is anticipated to be significantly higher, with international aid organizations estimating that as many as 10,000 people may still be unaccounted for.

According to the International Organization for Migration, over 43,000 individuals have been forced to flee their homes due to the flood.

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