The situation in Syria is becoming the biggest humanitarian and development crisis in recent history, with implications for global peace and security. In response, the United Nations developed the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) as a consolidated regional framework aimed at addressing refugee protection needs, the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable, and the longer term socio-economic impacts of the Syria crisis on neighboring countries. The 3RP acknowledges the importance of national ownership and thus brings together the response plans of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt to ensure protection and humanitarian assistance, and to strengthen the resilience of host communities.
The Programme is currently supporting the implementation of the Response Plans in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
In Syria, support was pursued within the framework of the project “Emergency Assistance for the Restoration and Stabilization of Livelihoods of People Affected by the Crisis in Syria”, targeting primarily women-headed households. In August 2014, the Dar Al-Salam Food processing intervention in Al-Hassakeh saw the light, a partnership Between DDC/Finland, UNDP Syria and the Armenian Catholic Church in Al-Hassakeh. The project was implemented in Al Hassakeh Governorate, Al Qamishli city, to restore the disrupted livelihood through reviving the local milk production industry, providing vocational training and creating job opportunities for the affected people who lost their income sources. About 600 families benefited directly and indirectly from this intervention through employment, income and food from their work on the farm, and increased availability of dairy products on the local market at reasonable prices.
Also with the objective of building resilient livelihoods for affected communities in Syria, the Programme initiated support to a new project entitled “Support to small horticultural farmers in Al-Hassakeh” with the objective to make available fresh vegetables on the local market at reasonable prices, enhance the production efforts of 200 producers - dealing with a production area of 300 ha - keep them in business and thus also secure the about 2,000 seasonal job opportunities they create mostly for women.
In Lebanon, and within the framework of UNDP’s Stabilization and Recovery Programme which seeks to support the resilience of vulnerable host communities, technical support is being provided to enhance the livelihoods of affected Host Communities through building the production and marketing capacity of women agro-food cooperatives. Activities are implemented in collaboration with the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahle (Bekaa, CCIAZ) and Saida (South, CCIAS). 12 cooperatives are currently being supported with various activities including support to their participation in the 5th Beirut Cooking Festival 2015 held at Biel Center in Beirut on 12-14 November. During the festival, cooperatives were able to target discerning food loving audience, exhibit and raise consumer awareness on the product range they have available.
Support is also provided for the development of vocational training programs for women and youth in the 8 Social Development Centers (SDCs) of the Ministry of Social Affairs to enhance their employability. A market-based assessment was carried out to identify the professions and the skills needed within 4 communities: Minneh (North), Burj Hamoud (Mount Lebanon), Saida (South), and Hermel (Bekaa). The assessment sought to identify the human resource needs of SMEs in these areas and the available capacities/resources at the MoSA vocational training centers to design the vocational training programs accordingly.
In Jordan and within the framework of the Jordan response plan, the Programme provided support for the design of a project document for a joint UNDP/UNEP intervention aiming to alleviate the pressure of refugees on the scarce natural resources and fragile ecosystems in Jordan and to build the resilience of affected communities. The main goal of the intervention is “conserve land resources, sustain their functions and services and, thereby, enhance the basis of livelihood”. It will also stimulate small-scale business development and entrepreneurship through a micro-financing (sub-grants) program which will be set-up to support selected groups who will start or convert their economic activities in line with the project’s scope and objectives i.e. combating land degradation and promoting ecosystem services.