I Must Live Amidst the Rubble: Inclusive recovery in Al Raqqa

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Save the Children International

In October 2017, Al Raqqa was captured from ISIS following a sustained ground and aerial campaign by armed groups supported by international

forces under the Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The recapture of the city caused the destruction of much of Al Raqqah city and a large number of civilian casualties.

Today it is estimated that 270,000-330,000 people are living in the city. While people have returned, they face life in a city of ruins. Little has been done by way of rehabilitation of the city’s damaged homes, schools, hospitals, and basic public services, leaving Al Raqqa’s children facing an uncertain and insecure future. The scale of challenges facing communities requires a shift in focus towards early recovery and restoration of basic services for children and their families.

This paper sets out the key challenges facing children and their families in Al Raqqa today, drawn from an area-based assessment conducted in October 2020 and interviews conducted in June 2021, focusing specifically on the impacts of a damaged city and homes; access to education for children; and prospects for livelihoods for parents. Ensuring that families can rebuild their lives requires urgent investment and coordinated efforts, from the municipal authorities, international actors, and local and international humanitarian organisations.

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