Partners discuss UNDP’s US$166 million development response to crisis in Syria
Amman – Development partners from 18 countries at the European Union meeting in Amman today agreed that the Kuwait II Pledging Conference for Syria, slated for 15 January 2014, should encompass support for critical development efforts to compliment the humanitarian response to the crisis in Syria and its spill over impacts on neighbouring countries. The meeting which brought together partners with long-standing experience and knowledge of the region and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Directors from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey endorsed UNDP’s Resilience-based Development Response in support of people and communities affected by the Syrian crisis in the five countries.
The conflict in Syria has rolled back human development achievements by 35 years, leaving more than 50 percent of the population (12.6 million people) living in poverty, 9.3 million in need of humanitarian and development assistance and 6.5 million displaced from their homes. It has also forced 2.3 million people to flee Syria into neighbouring countries. Most of them (80%) do not live in refugee camps but amidst host communities, severely impacting municipal and social services, such as health, education, sanitation, housing and socio-economic infrastructure, as well as social cohesion in those communities.
The resilience-based development approach supports communities in Syria and neighbouring countries to cope with immediate needs emanating from the crisis, to recover from its impacts and to sustain recovery and build stability over the longer term. It preserves development gains and supports social cohesion, which is necessary to prevent conflict and achieve stabilization within countries.
“The approach we are taking fosters greater coherence across the humanitarian and development dimensions of the response to the crisis,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator in her address to the meeting. “It enables the scaling up of investments and national development process at this very critical time,” she added.
The resilience-based development approach recognizes the innate capacities and resourcefulness of people and communities. It focuses on sustainability, reducing likelihood of future conflict and empowering affected people, communities and institutions to emerge stronger from the crisis than before.
UNDP Country Directors presented concrete examples of a resilience-based response already underway as part of their programmes, including restoration of livelihoods, water supply and waste management services in Lebanon; availing emergency employment and capacity building for micro, small and medium enterprise growth in Jordan; cash grants, vocational/business skills and employment opportunities in public works in Turkey; legal aid to refugee women and girls who may fall victim to gender-based violence in Iraq; as well as targeted engagement of private sector stakeholders in the response to the crisis across the sub-region.
In the Kuwait II conference, UNDP is appealing for funding for its sub-regional resilience-based development programming in the order of US$166 Million with allocations of US$45 Million in Syria, US$56 Million in Lebanon, US$32 Million in Jordan, US$11 Million in Iraq, and US$23 Mio in Turkey.
In moving forward, the meeting recognized the need for a coordinated development approach complemented with solid partnerships between communities, civil society, governments, the private sector and international organizations, including the United Nations. UNDP has established an interdisciplinary Sub-regional Response Facility for the Syria Crisis based in Amman to facilitate such partnerships, while also accelerating outreach and development results.
Participants also agreed on the need to champion the resilience-based development approach for Syria and its neighbouring countries among donors and implementing partners and to mobilize business associations, federations, and companies to reach out to as part of a private-sector engagement plan to kick-off dialogue on business resilience solutions.
“Kuwait II needs to reflect a transformation in the international aid architecture, with financing anchored in national planning systems and processes,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, UNDP Sub-regional coordinator for development in conclusion. “The humanitarian imperative is an integral part of a resilience based development response and this requires new and innovative partnerships grounded in nationally owned processes and new financing mechanisms,” he stressed.
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