BEIRUT: The European Union and 18 other countries discussed Wednesday a United Nations Development Program plan to provide $166 million in assistance to Syria and neighboring countries that have been affected by its crisis.
At the meeting ahead of a planned Jan. 15 Kuwait II Pledging Conference, participants agreed on the need for developmental assistance to compliment the international community’s humanitarian response to the crisis in Syria.
UNDP is appealing for $166 million in resilience-based funding, with allocations of $45 million in Syria, $56 million in Lebanon, $32 million in Jordan, $11 million in Iraq and $23 million in Turkey.
“The approach we are taking fosters greater coherence across the humanitarian and development dimensions of the response to the crisis,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said in the meeting. “It enables the scaling up of investments and national development process at this very critical time.”
The UNDP’s resilience-based development program aims to support communities affected by the Syrian crisis to address immediate needs, recover from short-term impacts and sustain their recoveries in the longer term.
The concept is to preserve pre-existing development gains, while supporting social cohesion in order to prevent further conflict and achieve stabilization.
“Kuwait II needs to reflect a transformation in the international aid architecture, with financing anchored in national planning systems and processes,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, UNDP subregional coordinator for development.
“The humanitarian imperative is an integral part of a resilience-based development response and this requires new and innovative partnerships grounded in nationally owned processes and new financing mechanisms,” he added.
Participants also agreed on the need to mobilize business associations, federations and companies to reach out to as part of a private-sector engagement plan to kick off dialogue on business resilience solutions.