The World Food Programme

Rehabilitation of damaged housing in Homs 2016. Photo© UN-Habitat


Since 2015, UN-Habitat has worked closely with Syrian cities and communities to develop just this kind of urban resilience and recovery approach. By supporting local authorities and communities (1) to collect better urban data and to support them to analyze their data so they can reach a common understanding on needs between all actors (UN, humanitarian actors, IDPs, host communities, and the Government of Syria); (2) to collectively and in a participatory, locally-led manner, jointly identify neighbourhood and municipal area response priorities – from humanitarian, to resilience, to recovery; and (3) to coordinate the responses from humanitarian actors, UN, and from residents themselves to ensure that we collectively respond to local priorities.

In 2019, UN-Habitat will consolidate and build upon the successes and lessons learned from these pilots to support the development of an Urban Recovery Framework for Syria in a process led by Syrians. The aim is to support the development of an enabling framework that can meet the challenges of a large-scale urban recovery process.

The overarching goal of the Urban Recovery Framework is to create an enabling institutional and policy framework to support large scale recovery in Syrian cities. It should eventually include a shared vision for sustainable urbanization in Syria, building on the New Urban Agenda and aligned with the SDGs. The aim is to link forward looking sectoral policies with a leveraged financing strategy (buildings, household, private sector, government , loan and grant finance) within an area-based participatory municipal planning system.

After nearly seven years of conflict, Syrians deserve the best chance for a sustainable peace. It is the role of the international community to support Syrians to make this hope a reality.