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Norway supports civil society in Syria

“Given the grim situation in Syria today, it is important to support efforts to build up local civil leadership. Norway will provide funding to strengthen civil society capacity in Syria with a view to a political process and stabilisation in the future,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

French version:
La Norvège soutient la société civile en Syrie

 

Norway is a major humanitarian actor in Syria, and has provided NOK 425 million since the conflict started in March 2011, including NOK 210 million this year. In addition, Norway will now support a project to strengthen civil leadership in the country. This funding will be channelled through Norwegian People’s Aid and will be used for capacity building and training in Syrian civil society networks. The work is being coordinated with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

“The people living in the parts of Syria where the government apparatus has broken down no longer have access to services that the state used to provide. In addition, various armed groups have taken over power in many provinces. It is very important to support the Syrians’ efforts to establish civilian governance mechanisms in the conflict areas,” said Mr Eide.

Last week, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres reported to the UN Security Council on the indescribable suffering the Syrian crisis is causing for the civilian population. Around 8 000 Syrians are fleeing the country every day, and some 6.8 million are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

Mr Eide recently attended a meeting of the NATO–Russia Council in Brussels, where he raised the Syrian issue with four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

“It is vital that the Security Council demonstrates the ability to send a coherent message to all the parties to the conflict that they must respect fundamental humanitarian principles as an absolute minimum. Otherwise it will not be possible to put enough pressure on the parties to reverse the negative trend,” said Mr Eide.

 

 

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