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UNDP & Gov. of Japan signed agreement to support communities affected by Syria crisis

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New York - The United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Bureau for Arab States and the Government of Japan signed today an agreement to expand efforts to restore reliable electricity to communities affected by the crisis in Syria. The agreement will be implemented by UNDP Syria and builds on ongoing support by the Govern­­ment of Japan for UNDP’s efforts to reach the most vulnerable people across the crisis-torn country.

Since the onset of crisis six years ago many aspects of Syria’s civilian infrastructure have been devastated, including the electricity sector. As the crisis continues, electricity generation and distribution are deteriorating further due to ongoing fighting, shortages of spare parts and lapses in maintenance.

Through this new project, UNDP Syria and Japan will provide urgent support for the rehabilitation of the Jandar power plant in Homs Governorate, in order to complete repairs needed to restore the plant to full capacity. The Jandar power plant normally covers 12-15% of the country’s total power supply, however is currently covering more than 25% of the total supply given the damages of other power plants. The budget for the planned activities is JPY 564,000,000, which as of 13 March, 2017 is equivalent to approximately US$4.9 million.

The project builds on joint work by UNDP and Japan carried out since 2015, including earlier rehabilitation to the same plant, and rehabilitation of the Al Zara and Banias plants in Hama and Tartous Governorates, respectively.

The project is part of the overall work of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States and Syria Country Office which seeks to complement the on-going humanitarian effort in Syria by focusing on support to livelihoods and jobs, rehabilitation of basic community infrastructure, and removal of debris and solid waste. UNDP is currently the UN Cluster Leader in Syria for the Cluster on Early Recovery and Livelihoods within the Humanitarian Response Plan.

Despite immensely difficult security conditions within the country, UNDP is doing its best to help Syrians respond to the extraordinary difficulties they are facing. Last year alone, UNDP programming in Syria reached more than 2.5 million people directly and indirectly. More than 28,623 job opportunities were created, and access to basic services was improved for more than 2.4 million people. A total of 267,568 tons of solid waste and debris were removed from places like Homs, Maaloula, and Aleppo.

UNDP’s programme in Syria is part of its broader support across the Arab States region, led by the Regional Bureau for Arab States at a time when several countries are coping with tremendous crises and the needs for resilience and new pathways to sustainable development have never been greater