Netherlands unfreezes Libyan assets for medical supplies

The Netherlands is freeing up €100 million of the Libyan regime’s assets that are frozen in the Netherlands at the urgent request of the World Health Organization. The WHO will use the funds to distribute medical supplies, of which there is currently an acute shortage in Libya, among the Libyan population.

The Netherlands can release the money to the WHO because the UN sanctions committee has given its approval. The medical supplies will go to people in Benghazi and other rebel-held areas, areas where there is fighting, and areas still controlled by the Gaddafi regime.

The Netherlands is the first country to provide this kind of financial assistance to Libya’s stricken healthcare sector.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal has described the unfreezing of the assets as a good example of how sanctions should work. ‘I always say that sanctions should cut off the regime without hurting the population. That is exactly what is happening now, with Gaddafi’s frozen funds being used to save Libyan lives,’ he said.