This policy paper was written by Sami Halabi and published by Menapolis with the support of Freedom House.
The paper seeks to provide recommendations regarding the long-term dispersal and management of aid funding in order to assist the Syrian people in rebuilding their nation following the cessation of major hostilities. The recommendations in the article describe a framework to ensure any aid provision is effective, equitable, and realistic, while avoiding fostering aid dependency. The paper draws on international evidence to inform its recommendations, including the cases of Lebanon and Iraq, countries whose demographic composition, social structures, and typology of conflict share many similarities to that of Syria.
The paper does not attempt to detail the specifics of how different facets of assistance, such as humanitarian response, transitional justice, or Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) of fighters should take place; each of these—and similar post-conflict development areas—warrant their own analysis. Rather, the focus of this paper is on creating the framework and safeguards that will allow aid funding to facilitate these and other essential post-conflict activities in a manner that has the greatest impact and most equitable effect in a post-conflict Syria.
There are inherent challenges involved in compiling policy recommendations for a post-conflict environment that remains a distant hope on the horizon. The duration and intensity of the conflict, as well as the parties involved, will obviously affect circumstances relevant to aid funding following major hostilities. The political circumstances under which the conflict concludes will also have a large bearing on the willingness of various international stakeholders to fund a post-war Syria. While these realities cannot be discounted, there remain foreseeable issues relating to the mechanisms, safeguards, and considerations of aid that need to be studied and addressed in order to rebuild physical and governmental structures in a post-conflict era.