On 7 July 2021, DG NEAR hosted the meeting of the Core Group on donor coordination for recovery, resilience and development responses to the Syrian crisis. This 16th edition of the bi-annual meeting, chaired by NEAR B Director a.i. Henrike Trautmann, brought together representatives of 12 key donor countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States), international organisations (UN, World Bank), financial institutions and regional funds (the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, EIB, EBRD, Syria Recovery Trust Fund), and relevant EU services (NEAR, EEAS, ECHO and FPI).
The deliberations of the Core Donors Group meeting centred around the recent devaluation of the Syrian pound and its implications on currency exchange rate and how this affects external assistance, and the current situation in North-east Syria (NES), including the main aspects contributing to the instability of NES, and refugee return pathways and some of the main obstacles facing the returnees. The meeting also heard the challenges faced by the Syrian LGTBQ+ community and how incremental steps can contribute to important changes.
The meeting also received updates from several UN agencies, including on the UN Strategic Framework for Syria, recent reviews by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Commission of Inquiry and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and UNHCR’s refugee monitoring work. Finally, the Commission debriefed on the future EU response to the Syria crisis under the new Multi-Annual Financial Framework, as the mandates of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey and the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis, the Madad, are coming to an end.
The large attendance and active participation of international donors underlined the strategic role of the EU as a key donor, doer and coordinator of the humanitarian, early recovery and resilience assistance as part of the international support to the Syrian people and their host communities.
- 9 Juli 2021