Germany said Sunday that it is loaning Libya's rebel leadership euro100 million ($144 million) to help with the country's rebuilding and humanitarian needs.
The Foreign Ministry said it is granting urgently needed funding as a loan because frozen assets related to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi cannot yet be released.
The situation in Libya is difficult because of a lack of funding "to build up the necessary structures and overcome supply shortages _ from medical care to food," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. "Particularly in eastern Libya, people are suffering more and more from this."
The money will be paid back from frozen Gadhafi assets once the U.N. Security Council has released them to Libya's new government, Westerwelle added. Germany has said it froze "several billion" euros (dollars).
Germany is not participating in NATO airstrikes on Libyan government military targets and abstained in the U.N. vote authorizing a no-fly zone.
However, it has called for Gadhafi to go, and Westerwelle announced during a visit last month to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi that Germany was recognizing the rebels' National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate representative.