Results around the world – Syria

Violence in Syria is ongoing, with little sign of the conflict abating. There are some 6.3 million internally displaced people, and humanitarian needs are increasing. The level of destruction and the collapse of social services have impacted the ability of communities to maintain livelihoods, essential services and productive assets.

The conflict has radically reshaped the demographics of a region with an already delicate ethnic and religious balance and scarce resources. Refugees from Syria have poured across the borders of neighbouring states to escape fighting. The majority have been absorbed into local communities in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. As a result, the populations of towns that were already hard-pressed to provide essential services doubled and tripled.

Canada has a three-year strategy for comprehensive security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crisis and its impact on Jordan and Lebanon. As part of this strategy, Canada’s development programming for Syria focuses on building the resilience of individuals, households, communities and systems so they can better withstand the effects of the crisis.

Given immediate needs inside Syria and the ongoing challenges to delivering long-term development assistance to the Syrian people, Canada’s support is heavily focused on shorter-term, life-saving humanitarian assistance.

Key results

In 2017-2018, Canada provided the following support to vulnerable Syrians inside Syria:

Canada’s support, along with other donors, helped experienced UN organizations to reach 5.3 million people with food assistance; 1.3 million people with water and sanitation services; and 3.8 million people with reproductive health services inside Syria.

Canada’s development assistance strengthened the capacities of approximately 150,000 inhabitants (including internally displaced persons) in a district coping with the negative impacts of the ongoing conflict. Health services for these inhabitants were improved through upgrades to health centres; food security and economic livelihoods were improved as a result of rural farmers receiving vital agriculture inputs; and capacity to deal with mass casualty incidents was improved through emergency preparedness and response training and equipment.

Canadian stabilization assistance supported the Syria Civil Defence volunteers (the White Helmets) to expand their capacity to remove explosive hazards in the southern de-escalation zone in Syria. Canada also provided support to remove explosive hazards from areas liberated from Daesh, clearing 512,307 square metres of land. Through Hala Systems, Inc., the Sentry early warning air raid system was developed and operationalized. Sentry provides civilians with warnings of impending aerial attacks through air raid sirens and via social media platforms. Hala Systems’ operations were also expanded to war crimes evidence collection. Hala Systems has provided key evidence to international organizations investigating serious war crimes committed in Syria.

As part of stabilization assistance to Syria, Canada also funded the Commission for International Justice and Accountability to investigate violations of international criminal and humanitarian law by the Assad regime and Daesh. In addition, support was provided to Syrian-led organizations to mobilize grassroots efforts around transitional justice and accountability and to develop capacity and strengthen networks within Syrian civil society.

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