Libya's interim leaders hold rebuilding talks in Paris
Libya's interim council met foreign officials and post-conflict rebuilding experts from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and USAID in Paris on Friday to discuss financing Libya's reconstruction.
REUTERS - Officials from Libya's ruling interim council met foreign officials and donor groups in Paris on Friday to discuss financing needs for the weeks and months ahead as Libya starts rebuilding after months of conflict.
Libya's reconstruction minister, Ahmad Jihani, and Aref Nayed, a senior member of the transitional council's rebuilding team, met experts in post-conflict rebuilding from groups such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and USAID.
U.S. and French officials said the meeting, which follows on from a high-level international conference in Paris on Thursday on Libya's political and economic rebuilding, was mainly about listening to the National Transitional Council's needs.
"It is not a donors conference," one U.S. official said.
"No pledges will be made. Rather Libyans will lay out likely reconstruction needs, and NTC's proposed steering group strategy is to ensure process is Libyan-led and to start figuring out which countries will participate in the various projects."
World leaders have agreed to free up billions of dollars in frozen assets to help the NTC restore vital services and make a start on reconstruction. But short-term aid and longer-term loans will also be needed to help the North African state stave off a humanitarian crisis.
The U.S. State Department has estimated the NTC could seek some $500 million for humanitarian needs, $500 million for civilian fuel and power and $500 for food and health services.
In order for Libya's new leaders to obtain aid from bodies such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, they will need to be recognised by the IMF, which says it would need such a move to be supported by its 187 members.