The Government of Finland and the United Nations Development Programme have signed a Euro 900,000 agreement to jointly support resilience-building efforts as a key component of the international response to the impacts of the Syria crisis in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey.
The agreement comes at a critical juncture, as the Syria crisis nears ten years in duration and continues to take unacceptable tolls inside Syria while placing unprecedented strains on neighboring countries, which together continue to host 5.5 million refugees while coping with development challenges which have now been exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19. Most countries hosting refugees in the region are confronting economic recessions and mounting fiscal pressures while poverty, vulnerability and unemployment levels are on the rise among both refugees and host communities and larger swaths of the population.
The agreement renews a long-standing partnership between UNDP and Finland started in 2016, to strengthen the resilience agenda in the response to the Syria crisis, with a focus on supporting neighboring countries and communities to withstand the strains of the crisis while maintaining prospects for development progress of benefit to both host communities and refugees.
“Strengthening the resilience of communities means strengthening stability in societies overall. We need to foster knowledge on best practices, and encourage private sector engagement and innovation. No single actor alone can deliver what is needed in this situation; we need partnerships on national, regional and global levels. Finland has been strengthening the understanding of resilience for many years, and in 2021 in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, this is more important than ever,” said Tarja Fernández, Ambassador of Finland to Lebanon and Jordan, and Chargée d´affaires in Syria.
Within the scope of the agreement, the UNDP and its Sub-Regional Facility (SRF) for the Syria Crisis will continue to foster adaptation and policy coherence in resilience programming, monitoring and advocacy efforts under the Regional Refugee and Resilience plan (3RP). The project will promote forward-looking and integrated approaches to building the resilience of refugees, host communities, the private sector and public institutions in synergy with national policy frameworks for recovery, inclusive growth and sustainable development and in support of UNDP Country Offices and partners. A special emphasis will be placed on ensuring responsiveness to the specific needs of youth, women, and other vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities, while empowering individuals and communities to play key roles in resilience-building efforts.
“Business-as-usual is no longer an option in the response to the impacts of the Syria crisis. Neighboring countries have shown tremendous solidarity by hosting refugees for nearly ten years, however their resilience is increasingly under strain, and needs are growing in the context of COVID-19, ” said Sarah Poole, Regional Director a.i. of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States. “As UNDP we are grateful to the Government of Finland for the continued partnership in supporting a stronger resilience response across the sub-region, including through a growing focus on private sector engagement and innovation in delivering results.”
The project will continue to engage multiple actors from the UN, host governments, civil society, the private sector and the wider community of partners and practitioners in conferences, workshops and other engagements on resilience, while investing in new knowledge products in response to emerging research and advocacy needs. Building upon the Innovation for Crisis workshops that were jointly organized by Finland and the SRF in the previous phase of the partnership, the project will review and explore opportunities for a greater engagement of private sector actors and the promotion of innovative solutions to resilience challenges.
UNDP, Theodore Murphy, email@example.com, +1-718-915-2097