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ASO Concludes a Dialogue Session on Psychological and Social Safety in Northeastern Syria

ASO – Amouda

Last Monday, ASO Center for Consultancy and Strategic Studies organized a dialogue session on psychological and social safety in Northeastern Syria.

ASO organized the session as a part of the activities of the project "Enhancing Participatory Democracy in Northeastern Syria" supported by the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA).

Representatives of the Durable Solutions Platform (DSP), which is monitored by a number of international organizations, including the Denmark and Norway Refugee Councils. Their work includes research, advocacy and support for civil society, and they’re also concerned with displaced Syrians and refugees. As well, focus on durable solutions for the displaced. The International Relief Organization also participated in the session, which was conducted via the Zoom application. In addition to 56 representatives of members of the NES NGO Platform.

The session featured a discussion on the extent to which IDPs, returnees and residents in Northeastern Syria receive support from non-governmental social support networks operating in the region, and families, relatives and friends, as well as religious centers and local governments.

Participants discussed instances of discrimination faced by displaced persons, groups or individuals most vulnerable to discrimination, the percentage of sense of security among IDPs and the original population in the communities of Northeastern Syria, and the groups most vulnerable to psychological and social insecurity.

Anoud Abu Hassan, representative of the Durable Solutions Platform, asked a set of questions based on the session axes that included: “If the displaced and residents of Northeastern Syria receive assistance with food and basic services like electricity, water and the Internet, and the provision of shelter, health care, or psychological support, borrowing money, discrimination cases, and the level of security that exists."

The members of NES NGO Platform provided a viewpoint on how to obtain support or assistance; whether from civil, governmental, or local or civil institutions, and provided a range of information on displaced people and arrivals in Northeastern Syria.

They stressed that IDPs are in a constant state of demand for support and assistance; "Because they have lost their homes and their hopes, most of them are unemployed, and either live in camps or in cities." They also discussed the extent to which displaced and indigenous people require basic services like water, electricity and shelter in the light of that war and the crises that affect the region generally.

Representatives of the members of the NES NGO Platform stated: "Social and psychological security is the most significant requirement for displaced people and some of the indigenous population, as displaced persons constitute the most vulnerable group with a constant sense of instability and security, and that the region as a whole has seen poor social, security and even economic conditions, and, as a result, this has led to the dissemination of violence and a large number of civil and social conflicts."

They also provided information and examples on instances of discrimination in the region, and that the category of displaced persons is most likely to suffer discrimination, especially by CSOs and some indigenous people in the cities. In addition to the fact that the phenomenon of discrimination towards new arrivals has caused them a great deal of psychological damage and negatively affected the relationship between displaced persons, the indigenous population and civil society. Thus, sometimes moral enmity arise, in which societal customs and traditions have a negative impact on society as a whole.

They discussed the necessity of clear plans going forward set by the existing authorities in the region for cases of displacement and wars. As well as the development of mechanisms to address arrivals and displaced people, to address all these difficulties and problems. Also, the need for coordination between international donors and the NES NGO Platform, in order to carry out their duties towards the region, removing those barriers for displaced persons and the original residents, and create a state of stability and peace between the peoples of Northeastern Syria.

At the end of the session, Anoud Abu Hassan, representative of the Durable Solutions Platform, thanked ASO Center for Studies for organizing the session, and the members of NES NGO Platform for their cooperation in participating in the session and its enrichment by providing information and opinions about the region and displaced persons located there.

ASO Center had earlier conducted a series of dialogue sessions and meetings between representatives of the members of the NES NGO Platform, with the European Union Delegation concerned with Syrian Affairs, a group of civil international bodies and international donors interested in humanitarian affairs in Northeastern Syria. Moreover, there will be an updated dialogue session for this session, next Thursday, entitled “Human Rights and Independence of IDPs and Returnees in Northeastern Syria.”

It is noteworthy that the general objective of conducting this session is to enhance trust between members of the platform and international actors and to set up channels of communication between them.

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