The prolonged crisis has resulted in massive displacement, destruction of infrastructure and disruption of basic and social services within all Syrian Governorates. Many basic infrastructure systems, including provision of water, electricity and sanitation, in addition to social infrastructure such as schools and healthcare centres, have been damaged or destroyed, eroding the living conditions of people in affected communities. The unstable supply of fuel and power shortages have been identified as one of the main causes of economic decline, leading to business closure and the shut-down of industrial and service facilities.
Compounding this, the high influx of internally displaced families to already vulnerable governorates has significantly overstretched available resources in the host communities and limited the capacity of the local municipalities to meet the increasing needs of the population. Solid waste management systems are one of the most affected services in Syria. Equipment and heavy machinery normally used for solid waste removal was looted, destroyed, or not functioning due to a lack of spare parts and maintenance.
As a result, tonnes of waste piles have accumulated in the streets, serving as breeding grounds for rodents and insects, polluting the environment and increasing the risk of disease.
Contributing to Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, 7 and 9, this priority area is aims to support a rapid return to sustainable development pathways in Syria by restoring and expanding more responsive essential services and infrastructure for affected communities.
UNDP aims to help stabilize local communities and promote the return of internally displaced persons by restoring and repairing basic social infrastructure and services in severely affected crisis areas with limited access. This includes activities such as restoring electricity supply (in addition to exploring renewable and alternative energy sources), repairing schools, in partnership with UNICEF; rehabilitating health facilities –for which WHO provides equipment and medical supplies and UNFPA equips maternal health facilities; supporting debris management; and rehabilitating roads, sanitation networks, commercial areas and businesses, in cooperation with local authorities, municipalities, technical directorates, and local communities. Efforts are made to involve the private sector in rehabilitation activities. UNDP interventions pay particular attention to the needs of female-headed households, persons with disabilities, and youth groups.