By Natasha Hall and Will Todman
Since the outset of the Syrian crisis, parties to the conflict have instrumentalized aid, restricting, impeding, and diverting humanitarian assistance to their benefit.
- These barriers to access have undercut humanitarians’ ability to serve people according to need in a cost-efficient and principled manner.
The lack of access has also meant that Syrian aid workers and organizations have played an outsized role in the humanitarian response, from delivery and programming to monitoring and evaluation.
- The victims of attacks on humanitarian workers and civilian infrastructure are overwhelmingly Syrian aid workers and health personnel.
Donors must increase support for local aid organizations and workers in Syria and elsewhere by accelerating the localization of the aid response.
- They should increase efforts to protect local humanitarian workers, mitigate the vulnerabilities associated with overreliance on the United Nations, and engage more with the private sector to alleviate the challenges of de-risking.
- Center for Strategic and International Studies
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