Libya was war-torn for centuries before it experienced a brief respite in the spring of 2017; but this North African country has again entered into turmoil. Between rival militias, Egyptian bombing and Arab revolts, Libya has once again become vulnerable and at odds with not only itself but also neighboring countries. Citizens of the U.S. and world now ask how to help people in Libya affected by these conflicts, and thankfully, quite a few options exist.
As Charles R. Swindoll said, “The difference between something good and something great is the attention to detail.” There’s a plethora of possible ways to aid other countries around the globe, and just giving money can be a controversial and often ineffective method of reaching individuals, or the “details.”
Often times, impoverished individuals fail to receive money because donated monetary funds get lost in translation and/or siphoned to the elite; thus, essential money never makes it to the people who need it most. Also in many cases, only a fraction of the money donated to charities actually goes towards the cause because of the charity system’s filtration system.
Although effective and impactful ways to donate to causes such as those in Libya do exist — for example, “effective giving” as endorsed by Forbes, or NPR’s bypassing charities and giving directly to poor people method– here are three of the most impactful ways on how to help people in Libya without utilizing money.
1. Restoring Family Links
Conflicts in Libya separate families and friends on a regular basis. But, thankfully, organizations such as the Libyan Red Crescent and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) work to connect family and friends separated, disconnected or lost due to migration, conflict and/or political and dissident activities.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent operate predominately on a volunteer basis, so the opportunities to become involved in the Libyan Red Crescent are (almost) endless.
2. Signing Petitions
The government and legislation in Libya dictate and incite many of the issues occurring in the country today. From prisoners of war to civilian protection rights, prosecutions and the environment, there exist numerous movements and debates that could really utilize global support.
Helping aid systemic issues can influence a larger portion of the population and create more rapid change in any country, and Libya is no exception to such universal effects.
3. Donating Supplies
Programs that donate supplies directly to impoverished or war-torn areas are commendable options for those that want to help Libya with “on-the-ground” measures. Organizations such as The Red Crescent and ICRC, and Medecins Sans Frontiers provide much-needed supplies, medicines and food directly to Libyan refugees or displaced persons.
Unlike money, this method ensures that the right resources actually get to those in Libya that need it most .
The ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and the subsequent breakdown of his government afterwards created different kinds of political, social and fiscal turmoil within the country. With such unrest and displacement at work in this globally influential country, the ways on how to help people in Libya are almost infinite.
Focusing on the individual is critical, but the act of giving is always preferable to no action at all.
– Allegra Upton