On June 17, the Valdai Club will host an expert discussion, titled “The humanitarian crisis in Syria: Is it just the beginning?”
The conflict in Syria has been going on for 10 years. Despite the relatively calm military situation in the country, the humanitarian situation is becoming more serious. Widespread destruction, the gradual degradation of infrastructure and decline in basic services, including the water supply, electricity and medical care, have effectively deprived Syrians of access to life support systems. The shallowing of the Euphrates river has become a serious problem, as it not only serves as a source of water for millions of Syrians, but also provides for the operation of Syrian hydroelectric power plants. The economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the sanctions regime have further complicated the humanitarian and economic situation in the country.
The international community has provided humanitarian assistance to the Syrians since the beginning of the peace settlement in the country, but it is clearly not enough. Addressing the acute humanitarian crisis necessitates a comprehensive international strategy to rebuild and modernise basic Syrian infrastructure. Otherwise, the provision of services in Syria could lead it to collapse in the next decade. This will lead to severe humanitarian consequences: outbreaks and the spread of diseases, a significant deterioration in living conditions and damage to the environment.
What can the international community do to remedy the humanitarian situation in Syria? What is Russia’s role in rebuilding Syria? How can private companies and humanitarian organisations contribute to provide sustainable solutions to humanitarian problems? These and other questions will be answered by the participants in the discussion.
Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva, Chief Advisor in Strategic Planning Department of Russia’s MFA. Professor of Applied International Analysis Department in MGIMO University
Igor Matveev, Full State Counsellor of the Russian Federation, 3rd class; Senior Research Fellow, Center of Arab and Islamic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Sergey Shevchuk, General Director of the Russian Humanitarian Mission;
Philip Spoerri, Head of Delegation in Syria, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC);
Guney Yildiz, IPC-Stiftung Mercator Fellow with Centre for Applied Turkey Studies at German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP-Berlin);
Hames Zreik, CEO of the Damascus Centre for Research and Studies.