In addition to implementing humanitarian aid programs in Syria, SRD makes it a priority to advocate for the well-being of Syrians in need. The success of our programs is contingent upon effective advocacy that improves the collective response to the dire plight of the Syrian people. In an effort to achieve this, we amplify the needs of Syrians by bridging affected populations and influential policymakers. As we enter the fifth year of the crisis, SRD commits to the following advocacy initiatives:
A call for targeted medical services to Syrian vulnerable communities; including women, children, and elderly.
Focused assistance to the health needs of Syrian vulnerable communities produces tangible benefits to the broader relief effort.
The breakdown of Syria’s health infrastructure continues to acutely affect women, children, and the elderly as their needs are not being met. A lack of medical programs and personnel in Syria focusing on women’s and elderly health will have long-term economic, medical, and psychological repercussions.
A call for improved humanitarian access.
Aid access constitutes one of the most crucial humanitarian obstacles facing Syria’s crisis. SRD advocates for improved cross-border and cross-line aid delivery, as well as access to hard-to-reach areas.
The scarcity of goods and services, including food; clean water; healthcare; etc. in many areas throughout Syria. The desperate conditions that have made these necessities inaccessible to the majority of the population and the subsequent importance of external humanitarian assistance. In addition, the lingering plight of over 200,000 Syrians trapped in besieged areas in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
A call for investment in Syrian-led solutions.
Several considerations support the notion that the relief effort must actively pursue methods to involve Syrians either via 1) Syrian-American aid actors with a network of substantial contacts or 2) Syrian civil society organizations focusing on relief and development.
Syrians are most in tune with needs on the ground and possess innovative insight regarding how to best administer relief. Humanitarian organizations with ties to Syria’s local populations are thus able to respond to the crisis in a manner that maximizes aid effectiveness and empowers communities.
A call for support to Syria’s neighbors.
Over 3 million Syrians are now living as refugees in the region; the overwhelming majority (85%) reside in just three countries—Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan; the international community must continue to mobilize on behalf of these nations.
The international obligation to “burden-sharing” dictates that support be mobilized on behalf of these countries. SRD targets its aid to non-camp refugees given the difficulty that they face accessing formal assistance, and the subsequent strain they place on the resources of host communities.
A call for initiatives to address Syria’s education vacuum.
The protracted nature of Syria’s crisis necessitates that the long-term challenge of education be addressed as a component of the ongoing relief effort.
Organizations administering humanitarian aid in Syria are uniquely suited to use their local ties and knowledge to pursue education initiatives among the communities they assist. Education constitutes a return to normalcy amid crisis, improves morale, and lays a foundation for Syria’s future.