Syria has been affected by armed conflict since 2011. A political solution for long-term peace has not yet been achieved. The population is suffering the consequences, with more than 12 million people facing hunger, according to the United Nations. The humanitarian and economic situation is impacting social cohesion, and the country is shouldering the challenge of hosting more than six million internally displaced people.
The work of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH focuses on areas controlled by opposition forces. Commissioning parties are the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Office, and work is cofinanced by the European Union and other donors.
The priority areas of cooperation are:
- Food security
- Health and psychosocial support
- Social cohesion and resilience
GIZ is supporting civil society actors, internally displaced people and host communities in northwest and northeast Syria. The work of local implementation partners, primarily Syrian NGOs, is improving current living conditions and creating long-term prospects.
For example, since 2015, more than 10,000 farmers and herders have received training in production practices that are more efficient, sustainable and climate-friendly. By using organic fertiliser and growing their own fodder crops, farmers and their families can ensure that they are self-sufficient in the long term.
In addition, damaged hospitals and health care facilities are being repaired and kept in operation. This has enabled doctors to perform over 210,000 operations since 2016. Furthermore, between 2020 and 2022, more than 4,000 local doctors and other hospital staff received training. To assist people affected by war and experiences of displacement, there is a particular focus on psychosocial support services. Since 2022, these services have benefited more than 100,000 people, around half of them women.
In the areas hit by the earthquake in February 2023, GIZ is providing emergency relief and measures through local NGOs. People are provided with clothing and hygiene products, for example. Medical care and psychosocial support are offered here, too.