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The devastating impact of storm Daniel: reconstructing Eastern Libya estimated at $1.8 billion

1 min

In a joint report released by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the European Union, the catastrophic flooding that struck Derna and eastern Libya in September has affected up to 1.5 million Libyans, with estimated reconstruction costs reaching $1.8 billion.

The report, describing storm Daniel as the "deadliest in Africa since 1900," © Mena Today 

In a joint report released by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the European Union, the catastrophic flooding that struck Derna and eastern Libya in September has affected up to 1.5 million Libyans, with estimated reconstruction costs reaching $1.8 billion.

The Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA), based on international methodologies, estimated the cost of rebuilding the areas devastated by the storm Daniel on the night of September 10-11 at $1.8 billion.

Entire neighborhoods in Derna, the hardest-hit city, were swept away along with their residents, exacerbated by the breach of two upstream dams in a city that had a population of 120,000 before the tragedy. According to the report, 20 cities were impacted by Daniel, including regions such as Benghazi, Al Marj, Sahel Al Jabal, and Al Akhdar.

"The catastrophe has affected approximately 1.5 million people, or 22% of the Libyan population living in the severely affected coastal and inland cities," as stated in the joint report released on its website by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

The report, describing storm Daniel as the "deadliest in Africa since 1900," reported a toll of "4,352 confirmed deaths, over 8,000 missing, and approximately 250,000 people" still in need of humanitarian assistance as of December.

On Wednesday, the Government Authority for Missing and Missing Persons announced receiving a new batch of 5,000 DNA samples taken from bodies recovered from debris, the sea, or buried in mass graves around Derna.

Nearly 44,800 people were also displaced by the disaster, including 16,000 children, and their access to healthcare and education has deteriorated.

"The housing sector was severely affected, with approximately 18,500 homes destroyed or damaged, equivalent to 7% of the housing stock," according to the report.

Floods have also had a significant impact on transportation, water supply, and the country's cultural heritage, according to experts.

In addition to the assessment of reconstruction needs, RDNA estimated the material damage and economic losses (destroyed businesses and farms) caused by the floods at $1.65 billion, equivalent to "3.6% of Libya's GDP in 2022."

In a country plagued by political instability since 2011, two rival governments vie for power. One is based in the capital, Tripoli, and is recognized by the UN, while the other is situated in the east, under the control of Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

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