Hadi al-Bahra, member of the Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) political committee, briefed the committee on the 18th meeting of the Board of Directors of the Syria Recovery Trust Fund and the 32nd meeting of its Management Committee, which were held on 13 and 14 December in Kuwait.
Al-Bahra is the SOC’s representative in the Fund and Chairman of its Board of Directors. He said that Germany pledged 10 million euros to support the fund’s efforts in the areas of food security and agriculture in northeastern and northwestern Syria. Japan pledged 5.9 million euros to the Fund, he added.
The Trust Fund approved 32 projects to support livestock breeders in Raqqa province with a total budget of 1.84 million euros, bringing the total budget of projects approved by the Trust Fund to 229.56 million euros. Furthermore, the Management Committee agreed to extend the term of the Trust Fund’s mandate for an additional two years.
Al-Bahra indicated that these donations will enable the Trust Fund to implement new projects in northwestern and northeastern Syria, especially the provision of alternative energy means for medical centers and solar energy for water pumping stations. These projects also include rehabilitation of electricity and sewage networks across northern Syria, the rehabilitation of dozens of schools, supporting agricultural cooperative societies, and supporting automated mills and bakeries.
Al-Bahra pointed out that the Management Committee also approved the operational budget for 2023, in addition to the necessary measures to ensure sustainability within the framework of the health sector strategy.
The Management Unit provided the latest developments regarding the payments of the Trust Fund in 2022 with regard to projects that the Fund is financing, which have been the highest since the establishment of the Fund, while maintaining the noticeable decrease in the general cost for the third year in a row, noting that the general cost for this year is lower from 11 percent.
Thanks to the new donations, the Syria Recovery Trust Fund leads the rest of the trust funds, with a total of €326 million from 12 donor countries.
A framework agreement to establish the Trust Fund was concluded on September 2, 2013 with the participation of three main donors: the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, along with the SOC as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and the German Development Bank (KfW) as fiduciary.
Denmark joined the framework agreement on the same day, while Sweden and Finland joined in October 2013, followed by Japan in February 2014, the United Kingdom in March 2014, Kuwait in May 2014, France in June 2014, Italy in July 2014, and the Netherlands in December 2014.
Türkiye joined the Trust Fund in June 2014 as a permanent member and became part of its administrative structure in its important capacity as a host for the Executive Management of the Fund. In November 2015, Jordan joined the Fund as a permanent member and became part of its management structure in its important capacity as a second host of the Fund’s executive management.
The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the general strategies and policies of the Fund. It consists of the donor members, Türkiye, Jordan, KfW and the Management Unit. It is also chaired by a SOC’s representative and meets every six months to monitor and evaluate the Fund’s priorities, approve them and provide strategic directions.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)