Politics Of Policymaking : Comparative Perspectives, Fall 2015

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Assignment # 1: Politics of Policymaking: Comparative Perspectives, Fall 2015
Name: Pragya Dewan | UNI: pd2490

To: Head of UNDG-Syria (all UN agencies)
Re: Moving from an emergency driven humanitarian response to long-term strategic management of the Syrian refugee crisis
From: Dr. Amena Al-Diri, Strategic Advisor to OCHA-Syria
Date: 21st September 2015

Executive Summary

Background and Problem Definition

A combination of factors in Syria, including but not limited to Bashar al-Assad 's regime and its practices against the Sunni majority, the rapid spread of ISIS and its atrocities against the Syrians, and other groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra have led to a civil war that has killed 250,000 people, displaced half of the population,
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The 2014 plan reached out to an unprecedented number of people by way of food assistance (4.43 million people per month), non-food items (5.7 million people), education assistance (3.1 million), and health services (16.5 million medical treatments) and early recovery and livelihoods interventions (2.1 million people benefitted) . However, because of the exponential increase in the scale of the crisis, OCHA and UN partners have only been able to provide a largely response driven emergency assistance. In addition, only a fraction of the assistance is actually reaching the target population as organizations are constrained by slow administrative and bureaucratic procedures, lack of government support, violence along access routes and general safety and security concerns .

As the humanitarian agencies focus on providing for these basic needs, Syria’s development situation has regressed almost by four decades in four years. Since the onset of the crisis in 2011, life expectancy is estimated to have shortened by almost 13 years (Q4, 2013) and school attendance dropped more than 50%. Syria has also seen reversals in all 12 recorded Millennium Development Goal (MDG) indicators. The Syrian economy has contracted by an estimated 40% since 2011, leading to the majority of Syrians losing their livelihoods. By the end of 2013, an estimated three in four Syrians were living in poverty, and 54% were living in extreme
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