Syria: Engaging with local actors to increase humanitarian outreach

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Wilton Park

Syria has entered its fifth year of civil war and currently presents the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. With no resolution of the conflict in sight, humanitarian organisations are facing challenges that seriously hamper an effective humanitarian response. International organisations have increasingly limited access due to restrictions imposed by either the government or armed groups in Syria. This gap has been filled by Syrian local organisations, using their connections and networks in the country to provide aid and protection to the population. However, these local groups also struggle to maintain their operations, in part due to the difficulty in accessing funds. The way in which humanitarian action is conducted, the lack of cooperation and trust between organisations, the impact of counter-terrorism legislation and international sanctions, as well as the lack of flexibility in funding need to change to enhance humanitarian action.

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