Market Access and Functionality in Syria, November 2015

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The conflict in Syria has had devastating effects on the country's economy and communities' ability to meet their basic needs. The challenges individual households face are complex, with limited access to income-generating opportunities only one part of the overall picture. Recent estimations of poverty levels, taken during the August 2015 Whole of Syria Assessment (WoSA), mean that over 10 million people in Syria are in need of livelihoods support, which includes employment as well as access to financial transfer mechanisms and markets.

An understanding of market functionality provides a grounding for a quality humanitarian response, avoiding doing harm to local systems that already support livelihoods, and providing continuity for communities' way of life. Markets are integral to many aspects of Syrian life, and therefore must be considered in the context of an integrated multi-sector response.

Accordingly, one goal of this exercise is to provide a baseline of information regarding access to markets and their functionality through a review and analysis of recent data collection efforts in Syria. By consolidating and comparing secondary data sources regarding access to financial services and markets, it is possible to better understand where opportunities and gaps exist and inform the use of cash and markets in the overall humanitarian response.