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Project Case Study

Keeping the lights on: the Libya Temporary Financing Mechanism

Managing the emergency fund established to keep basic services going and supporting the interim government

During the uprising of 2011, the Libyan opposition to the government of Muammar Gaddafi found themselves unable to deliver essential services to the people of Libya, because of a lack of access to funds and the means by which to use them, such as a central bank.

Millions of Libyans risked losing essential basic services such as clean drinking water, medicine, electricity, as well as access to their salaries.

In response, Adam Smith International was contracted by the Steering Board of the Temporary Financing Mechanism (TFM) to handle $1.6bn of Libyan and international donor funds.

Project info

Keeping the lights on: the Libya Temporary Financing Mechanism


  • 2011



  • Steering Board of the Temporary Financing Mechanism (TFM)

The funds were set aside to pay for national fuel oil supplies, family support benefits to families in the most deprived areas of the country, salaries for hundreds of thousands of civil servants, and medical bills for injured Libyans in hospitals and clinics across north Africa and Europe.

Throughout the short but effective lifespan of the Temporary Financing Mechanism, based from Qatar, we continuously provided a range of technical advice and practical solutions to problems that were arising on a daily basis. We developed a close relationship with key opposition and, later in 2011, government counterparts in the National Transitional Council, including the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance.


The support we provided day by day at such a turbulent time to resource the delivery of basic services and ensure that they were reaching those who needed them most was critical in helping the opposition prove itself as an alternative to the incumbent regime.

Thanks to the solutions we helped to find in those early days, the opposition could later establish itself as a viable government delivering essential services to the entire population of over 6 million people.

“Many thanks for all your work on the TFM. It performed a key function.”
Mark Bryson-Richardson, Deputy Head, Libya Unit, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

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