NGO Platform in Northeast Syria Accomplishes Dialogue Sessions on the Reality of the Displaced in NES
The member civil organizations of NGOs Platform in NES accomplished, on Sunday, 29 Nov, 3 training sessions on the Reality of the Displaced in NES in camps, cities and villages (Host community) within the second phase of "Enhancing Participatory Democracy Approach in NES" project, as one of the projects of ASO Center for Consultancy and Strategic Studies.
The sessions were carried out online in accordance with the precautionary measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus pandemic. The dialogue sessions targeted 43 female and male trainees of different age groups, as 10 trainees were from al-Hasaka, 18 from Deir Ezzor and 15 from Raqqa governorate.
Shereen Al-Homsi, the representative of the International Coordinating Body joined the dialogue session with the aim of sharing the outcomes of the dialogue session with the International Coordinating Body in order to address and discuss them with the concerned bodies. Similarly, she will participate in the next periodic meetings of the platform members with the aim of increasing coordination and networking between international organizations and local organizations.
The sessions covered several axes regarding the Reality of the Displaced in terms of livelihood reality (Response and Responsibility), they also discussed challenges that are related to physical and psychological health, in addition to educational challenges and other challenges related to women role and societal cohesion in NES in general.
In the context of the dialogue session's first axis, the participants agreed that the displaced undergo various types of sufferance in their livelihood under tragic circumstances and harsh conditions in all sectors, in the middle of severe deprivation of main services and despite the wide distance of operation for the local, international and civil organizations in different sectors, still the support given at all levels is not suitable to the number existed.
The participants clarified that conflict parties don’t abide by anything towards civilians who vagabond due to military operations. As providing livelihood rests on conflicting parties shoulders. Not to mention the displaced within villages and cities (host community) that do not receive humanitarian aids but rarely, and very less which is insufficient to meet their needs. Hence, this is a predicament which competent authorities and civil institutions should stand on and represents a burden on the displaced even if they are outside camps.
Imad Ahmi, the project manager of Enhancing Participatory Democracy Approach, said; "The displacement file is one of the most prominent repercussions of the popular movement in Syria since its launch in March 2011. This phenomenon has exacerbated and extended over the years of the war, creating disastrous situations that required the intervention of international organizations and the establishment of many local organizations to address the needs of the fleeing and displaced persons in all sectors."
He also added, "Accordingly, we conducted these dialogue sessions, to come up with several outputs that may contribute to alleviating the burden of displacement. We always take into account the suggestions of the platform members, in terms of choosing the sessions' topics and delivering their recommendations to the competent authorities, in order to bypass all crises in the entire NES areas."
As for the second axis, the participants found that the health services provided to the displaced are completely insufficient, due to the limited capabilities of the civil organizations specialized in this sector, as the services provided in the camps are unable to meet the needs of patients, particularly those suffering from chronic diseases.
They likewise, clarified that a huge percentage of the displaced children face challenges concerning growth and mental capabilities, due to psychological traumas and problems caused by war, displacement, and different violence acts. As for the services provided by mental health institutions, medical care remains difficult to reach for many of them, since specialized mental health centers are rare to find in the region and private clinics are very expensive.
The participants concluded the discussion by focusing on the issue that the majority of children residing inside the camps don’t have access to formal education rights. This goes back to the frailty of educational services provided by civil organizations. As for the displaced residing in cities and villages, some are having access while the majority don’t, since educational process requires providing suitable social and financial conditions, which cannot be accessed in the absence of the State's control, especially the area is security-unstable.
In the last axis, the participants delivered a set of recommendations and suggestions, as demanding the international community to support livelihood projects and relief/humanitarian projects of local and international organizations working in NES and to reopen Al-Yarubiyah crossing.
They also, demanded civil organizations to focus on; "Enhancing community cohesion due to its frailty and the need to work on this issue, especially since the NES region contains a diverse community overlap between nationalities, ethnicities, sects, religions and other beliefs. Similarly, provide support for the psychological and medical rehabilitation sector in the camps, especially for people with special needs, in light of the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic."
As for the Self-Administration it is demanded to issue laws private to the displaced and their conditions-improvement, and working on providing jobs opportunities for them within villages and cities through public development projects.
Assuring at the same time the necessity of; "Increasing coordination and enhancing collaboration between local organizations and CSOs aiming to unify their efforts to avoid predicaments. This is specifically demanded from the NGOs Platform in NES to create and strengthen these relations."
The dialogue sessions aim to conduct a permanent dialogue between the platform members and to strengthen the civil society organizations' role in highlighting the issues and challenges facing NES people at all levels and proposing appropriate solutions to them.