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A moderate, inclusive and stable Syria


As a defining conflict of the 21st century, Syria has eluded the international community’s ability to manage and resolve this crisis. The past eight years have been marked by unimaginable barbarity: the Syrian regime and its allies have imprisoned and tortured thousands; starved and sieged entire cities and towns forcing surrender; deployed chemical weapons; targeted civilians with airstrikes, and used crude barrel bombs to indiscriminately terrorize and take innocent lives. Violence devastated the country, with over half a million people killed and 12 million (half of the pre-war population) displaced — over five million of whom fled across Syria’s borders. Terrorist groups have taken advantage of the chaos as well. Al Qaeda took root in northwest Syria and remains the strongest military actor in Idlib; and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — while not currently occupying territory — holds the capacity to launch insurgent attacks.


A lasting defeat of ISIS and a political solution to the conflict requires addressing the underlying sources of instability. By strengthening the capacity of individuals and groups who are saving lives, meeting basic needs, promoting moderate values, and engaging with vulnerable populations, USAID/OTI’s partners serve as a bulwark against extremism. USAID/OTI/Syria Regional Program (SRP) partners are trusted and vetted to implement quick-impact activities with the goal of promoting an inclusive and stable Syria by:

  • Enabling the early recovery of areas liberated from ISIS; and
  • Increasing the influence of strategic moderate actors.


The following are examples of USAID/OTI/SRP programming:

  • USAID/OTI supports the rapid restoration of services in communities liberated and recovering from ISIS. By restoring electricity and water, repairing roads, and removing rubble, SRP assistance fosters the legitimacy of moderate actors and civilians’ sense of normalcy.
  • USAID/OTI programming provides a foundation for long-term stability. SRP engaged vulnerable populations in nearly 200 town hall meetings to identify and address needs. The combination of community engagement and service delivery helps communities participate in their recovery from ISIS occupation, reducing the extremist group’s appeal and the likelihood of its return.
  • USAID/OTI supports moderate actors. Over $42 million in assistance to the Syrian Civil Defense (SCD) supports impartial emergency responders in the last opposition-controlled area. The SCD remains one of strongest pillars of Syrian civil society, amplifying voices within Syria who are struggling against extremism and authoritarianism.
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Last updated: October 01, 2020

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