The Syrian Coalition on Saturday held a panel discussion on the needs and challenges facing Syrian refugees and the internally displaced persons in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The NDI is a US non-partisan, non-profit organization that works with partners in developing countries to increase the effectiveness of democratic institutions.
The panel discussion, which was held in the headquarters of the Syrian Coalition in Istanbul, Turkey, shed light on successful efforts to provide jobs for Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
The panel discussion was part of the Coalition’s efforts to develop participatory policies for education, health, and the wellbeing of Syrian refugees as well as displaced persons.
Civil society organizations, experts, members of the Syrian Coalition and the Syrian interim government participated in the panel discussion.
The panel discussion aimed to address the problems and needs facing the Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. It also looked at ways to address plans by the Assad regime to bring about demographic change in Syria through the mass forced displacement of communities in many areas across Syria to serve purely sectarian projects.
Secretary General of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Ilah Fahd opened the discussion by highlighting the difficult circumstances and challenges facing the Syrian refugees and internally displaced people.
Head of the Syrian interim government Jawad Abu Hatab highlighted the psychological and social challenges facing refugees and IDPs, including the lack of privacy in the IDPs camps. He pointed to serious social problems facing residents of these camps such as the fact that the majority of IDPs have lost all their legal documents.
For his part, Regional Director of NDI Leslie Campbell said that the panel discussion “aims to help Syrians establish good governance and provide services to Syrians wherever they are.”
Campbell stressed the importance of participatory policy-making to address the immense challenge of achieving a political as well as the challenges facing the Syrian people and political forces today.
The discussion was also attended by Senad Šepić, member of the House of Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina and an expert on the refugees affairs.
Bassam Quwatli, of a research focus group, said that financial issues topped the priorities of Syrian refugees and the internally displaced people, adding that most of them expressed desire to return to their homes. Quwatli also talked about the struggle of other refugees to get jobs and integrate into the societies they are now living in.
The Syrian Coalition previously held a panel discussion on education policies and the challenges facing the educational process in the liberated areas in Syria and in neighboring countries in cooperation with the NDI.
The Syrian Coalition and the NDI will later hold a panel discussion on challenges facing the health sector in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)