UNDP and the United Nations System in Syria
There has been no United Nations Development Assistance Framework since the 2007-2011 cycle. Instead, United Nations organizations have operated under annual humanitarian response plans, the most recent of which is the Syria Strategic Response Plan 2016 (SSRP), agreed between the Government of Syria and United Nations agencies, funds and programmes.
Under the SSRP, UNDP is the lead on the early recovery and livelihoods sector. Since the onset of the crisis, UNDP has focused on supporting the most vulnerable communities to build coping mechanisms and prevent them from falling deeper into poverty, while laying the groundwork for mid-to longer-term sustainable, resilience-oriented programming.
The UNDP Country Programme 2016-2017 contributes to all three pillars of the United Nations Strategic Framework for Syria. Institutional capacity enhancement for crisis response is embedded in all interventions; while infrastructure, basic service rehabilitation, livelihoods, economic recovery, and social inclusion are the main focus areas. UNDP continues to lead the early recovery and livelihoods sector under the Humanitarian Response Plan 2016, and will contribute to other sectors, including the continuous development of the resilience approach of the United Nations system. The Country Programme contributes to Outcome 6 of the UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017.
In Syria, UNDP works with UNFPA on rehabilitation of maternal health centres, with WHO on rehabilitation of primary healthcare centres, with FAO on rehabilitation of irrigation networks, with UNICEF on rehabilitation of schools and educational centres in addition to hygiene promotion pertinent to solid waste management, and IOM on emergency employment for rehabilitation of collective shelters.
United Nations Country Team
Under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator the UN Country Team (UNCT) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) provide strategic and policy guidance to programming, as well as review progress against targets. An inter-sector working group comprising eight sectors and two clusters provides operational guidance and support to the humanitarian operation in Syria led by the Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator. The HCT is composed of UN agencies and international NGOs operating in Syria.
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria leads and coordinates humanitarian action inside Syria. His work is complemented by the Regional and Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinators for the Syria Crisis and Humanitarian Coordinators in neighbouring countries to implement the Whole of Syria (WoS) approach, which is the framework for humanitarian action for all countries affected by the Syria crisis. OCHA Syria, in line with its global mandate, ensures the effective coordination of the response inside Syria.
Whole of Syria Approach
In 2016, the UN and its partners are providing food to 5.7 million Syrians a month through the WoS programme, including by crossing active frontlines and air dropping aid to 1.2 million civilians in besieged, hard-to-reach and other priority areas. Cross-border operations are a vital part of the response to deliver assistance to those who need it most, predominantly to areas not under government control. Since the security council authorised the UN to begin a cross-border response in July 2014, the UN has sent nearly 10,000 trucks loaded with life-saving UN aid across the authorised borders from Turkey and Jordan. It has also delivered over 7 million medical treatments to the most vulnerable.
UN agencies in the country
The Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. In Syria, OCHA coordinates the response as well as facilitates advocacy across humanitarian actors and inter-agency operations to expand access to all people in need of humanitarian assistance.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners are committed to keeping Syrian children from becoming a ‘lost generation’. Critical efforts are being made to minimize the impact of the crisis on children – including in the life saving areas of health, nutrition, immunization, water and sanitation, as well as in the future of children, through education and child protection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative’s Office in Syrian Arab Republic supports the Government and health authorities at central and local level in strengthening health services, addressing public health issues and supporting and promoting research for health.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) main interventions a re focused on strengthening the resilience of Palestine refugees, and to help them weather the dangers of the conflict. Of the total 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria, almost all require assistance.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) joined inter-agency efforts in 2012 to assist internally displaced people (IDPs) in Syria. Working under the framework of the national Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), the Office supports the non-food items (NFI) and shelter sectors, as well as the financial assistance, health, community services and protection sectors. The core of UNHCR's strategy in Syria, considering the insecurity throughout the country, is to employ all possible means to maintain access to and continue life-saving activities for all people of concern.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) With 2.4 million women and girls of reproductive age, it is estimated that 200,000 pregnant women are in need of urgent care. UNFPA, through its implementing partners, continues to provide clean delivery kits and reproductive health services, including emergency obstetric care and psychosocial support within Syria.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Since the start of the crisis in Syria, FAO has been providing support to the most vulnerable affected rural and peri-urban families in order to mitigate the consequences of the on going conflict on their food security and livelihoods. The FAO country strategy for Syria is based on (i) emergency support to household staple crop production (distribution of wheat and barley seeds), (ii) emergency support to small-scale herders (livestock inputs, feed, veterinary inputs, technical support), (iii) backyard food production (poultry and vegetable) and (iv) rehabilitation of critical on-farm agricultural infrastructure. Since January 2014, FAO has assisted more than 40,000 rural and peri-urban households and is currently preparing to help nearly 28,000 farmers plant winter cereals during the upcoming planting season.
The World Food Program (WFP) provides people inside Syria with food rations including flour, cooking oil, pulses, sugar and some canned food. In 2014, WFP plans to assist over 2.9 million people in Syria’s neighboring countries, mostly through food vouchers, which allow families to choose their food. They also help the local economy.
The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) is responsible for providing leadership , operational support and oversight of the security management system, ensure the maximum security for staff and eligible attendants, as well as to enable the safest and most efficient conduct of the programs and activities of the United Nations.
The United Nations Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) interventions focus on emergency shelter assistance, solid waste management and urban information management. UN-Habitat is working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to broaden the range of emergency shelter solutions, which thus far have focused only on collective centers, home to only some 165,000 of the 6.5 million displaced populations.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to carry its traditional activities including resettlement and evacuation of third country nationals while also carrying humanitarian response activities (being part of the SHARP) which includes the distribution of NFI’s, shelter rehabilitation, and psycho-social support, health, capacity building for local NGOs.