1 APRIL 2022 | IFIT Syria Resource Group convened a coalition of 12 Syrian civil society platforms that on the 31st of March called for the international community to rethink its approach to providing support to Syria, in order to ensure an effective and sustainable response that meets the minimum needs of the Syrian people and facilitates local communities to lead their own recovery.
In Towards More Principled International Support for Syrians – a special dialogue organised by the Syrian coalition and attended by key international humanitarian and development donors – key ideas were proposed for achieving more integrated, consistent and just donor assistance for current and future interventions across all geographies of Syria.
The virtual convening was attended by 200 participants connecting from 47 countries across the globe. Attendees and panellists included Syrian experts from all regions of Syria as well as diaspora; senior diplomats; and leading international experts.
“Over the past decade, the international community has provided generous support to Syria, yet this well-intentioned assistance has also created dangerous patterns for the country’s future recovery”, said Sawsan Abou Zainedin, a researcher at the Syrian Centre for Policy Research and member of the IFIT Syria Resource Group, two of the entities convening the event. “The country’s devastating conflict continues and there is an urgent need not only to use the limited resources more efficiently, but also to shift the focus from crisis and adaptation to root causes, allowing Syrian local communities to build sustainable local economies and civic governance structures that can lead the country towards peace and development.”
“Our initiative is the first step on a long road as well as an invitation to build a genuine partnership between the Syrians and international community to invest in a civic space that allows Syrians to own the process of shaping their future”, said Yara Nseir, Board Member of Shaml Coalition for Syrian CSOs.
In the context of stalled progress on the political track and the corresponding absence of a solution to the Syrian conflict that would respond to at least the minimal aspirations of the Syrian people, the engagement of the international community has diminished, leaving the population increasingly alone in facing the challenges of recovery from the devastating war under the current regime.
Against this backdrop, TowardsMorePrincipled International Support – a special dialogue event between Syrian actors and the international community – will be held on 31 March 2022. As part of the dialogue, Syrian participants will present their vision for international donor support of the Syrian population, focusing on how to achieve more integrated and consistent policies that would support Syrian communities, but without consolidating the war economy, worsening the divisions between different regions in Syria, planting seeds for new conflicts, contributing to more human rights violations, or empowering certain segments of the Syrian population at the expense of others.
As the political process for ending the conflict in Syria remains stalled, the country has entered into a prolonged status quo that is nevertheless shaping its future. While reconstruction funding officially is off the table in the absence of political transition, the different forms of upgraded humanitarian aid are defining future patterns of the country’s reconstruction. At the same time, the political stalemate is reducing the ability of the EU and international community to influence developments on the ground.
The event will provide field-based analysis of the challenges and offer creative but realistic solutions for course correction. The closed roundtable format aims to create space for discussion between the SRG´s platform of Syrian experts and key members of the international community committed to overcoming the Syrian conflict.
Date: Friday, March 26th 2021 from 3:00pm – 4:30pm Brussels time
Please note, this event is an invitation-only roundtable. If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact [email protected]
Over the nine years of the Syrian conflict, an unprecedented level of humanitarian and early recovery assistance has been mobilised. Yet, the aid has been systematically politicised, manipulated and diverted to one side of the conflict, setting a dangerous pattern for future reconstruction. Members of the Syria Resource Group – a multidisciplinary and non-affiliated platform of leading Syrian experts – will present and discuss an alternative framework that offers more realistic and principled parameters of aid for this critical juncture in the reconstruction debate. This discussion will serve as the basis upon which a set of recommendations will be devised and later published by the Syria Resource Group.
Fadi Dayoub, Co-founder and Director of LDSPS
Zozan Alloush, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syrian Democratic Council
Nasser Youssef, Secretary and Board Member of SIBA
Sawsan Abou Zainedin, Urban Development Planner, Co-founder of Sakan Housing Communities