Damascus - The Syria Country Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Embassy of Japan in Syria today announced the launch of an $8.18 million project to build the resilience of Syrian communities severely affected by the socio-economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
Targeting the most vulnerable households in Damascus, Rural Damascus and southern Syria, the one-year project aims to fortify coping mechanisms, support livelihoods, and strengthen and ensure access to basic local services. Funded by the Japan Supplemental Budget 2020 via the generous contributions of the people of Japan, the project will be implemented under the framework of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan.
“We are truly grateful for Japan’s continuous support to the Syrian people,'' said Ms. Ramla Khalidi, Resident Representative of UNDP Syria. “The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated Syria´s existing crisis, further eroding the resilience of Syrians and undermining their ability to cope. This not only poses acute challenges for individual families and communities, but also risks deepening social divisions. In these circumstances, there is an urgent need to deliver an inclusive humanitarian response which ensures access to critical provisions such as health, education, water and power; creates jobs; bolster social cohesion; and supports Syrian community groups, civil society, and municipal entities to actively implement recovery activities reflective of local needs.”
Mr. Akira Endo, Special Coordinator for Syria and Charge d´Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Syria said, “Japan remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance to support crisis-affected populations in Syria, especially vulnerable groups including women, youth and persons with disabilities. We sincerely hope that our support will help alleviate suffering for as many Syrians as possible, and help them to weather the multiple and deepening challenges they now face.”
The Covid-19 pandemic, combined with Syria´s worsening financial crisis and other recent developments, has severely compounded the impact of the country's protracted crisis, which is now in its tenth year. 12 million people across the country are experiencing extreme and unprecedented levels of hardship, and over 90% of all Syrians are now unable to meet their basic needs.
In line with the Humanitarian Response Plan, this initiative continues existing UNDP efforts to strengthen linkages between life-saving assistance and early recovery. Catering to immediate needs while also supporting self-reliance within crisis-affected Syrian communities is imperative in responding to the growing crisis, preventing further needs from developing, and ensuring a more sustainable future for all Syrians.