Fida Development

Statement on Supporting Community Resilience in Syria


Press Release 19 Jan. 2017

In a joint statement, seven Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs) have called on the United Nations to involve Syria's local communities and civil society in all work being conducted in the country. The CSOs stressed that only the involvement of Syrians themselves will create the preconditions for peace and prosperity in their country. Moreover, education and livelihoods are the prerequisites for successful reconstruction and for the future of Syria's children. The statement, issued today, is linked to an international conference on Syria hosted by Finland in Helsinki on 24 January. At the conference, the UN will announce its plans for Syria concerning humanitarian aid and refugees.

The Finnish CSOs say that the international community has until now acted in Syria mainly through its own capacities. There has not been sufficient coordination with local actors. And now that Syria is almost in its seventh year of war, it is high time that there was improved participation by Syrians in the planning and conduct of all humanitarian assistance work for Syria.

It is important to take local actors into account, as they are the ones who create the conditions for peace and who build the resilience of communities in the midst of conflict. "Furthermore, it is crucial that the international partners include all Syrian parties and geographic localities and, through this, help dissolving the already polarized political division lines," the CSOs point out in their statement.

They also draw attention to the record high youth unemployment in the region and the scant prospects for young people. So far the international community's inputs on education have only focussed on children's primary schooling, but such activity has been inadequate and still not all children attend school. Subsequently schooling breaks off because of the lack of possibilities to continue.

The international community must ensure that Syrians can complete their schooling. Education must contain bridges to employment so that young people can build their own future and participate in Syria's reconstruction.

The statement is signed by the Crisis Management Initiative, Felm, Fida International, Finn Church Aid, Kehys - The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU, Kepa and Save the Children Finland.

Read the statement in full


Published: 19.01.2017