As the death toll and damage continues to rise in Syria, nations rush to take action, whether military or monetary. In this effort, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has approved $20 million of further funding towards the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF) at a recent SRTF board meeting in Washington, DC. This brings the U.S. total contribution up to $60 million, whereby the U.S. donated $15 million initially, $15 million more in 2015, and $10 million in 2016. The organization is heavily reliant on its international donors and has up to date received $215 million in funds. Germany, Japan, Kuwait and France are some of the next biggest contributors after the U.S.
The Syria Recovery Trust Fund works with the current interim government and local groups to create transparent projects in Syria. This includes recovery initiatives and working with resident service providers to restore essential services such as electricity, water and sanitation, food security and waste removal in opposition-controlled territories. Hence, the SRTF focuses in these divisions alongside health and education and under particular circumstances agriculture, transportation and housing. Already looking to the future, they hope to shift their attention to rebuilding Syria’s infrastructure once fighting ceases.
Created by the Group of Friends of the Syrian People and its Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development and signed into practice in 2013, the Syria Recovery Trust Fund has already played a valuable role in the region. The group has successfully contracted engineers and equipment to expand electrical grids and water pipelines, restored medical clinics, supplied medical tools, and provided materials to improve production and storage of wheat harvests. Subsequently, they have helped more than two million Syrians progress and recover.
The newest contribution from the USAID will go to Syria Recovery Trust Fund interventions in newly liberated areas. The aid has paved a way for Syria and its people to rise from the rubble shortly again.
– Zar-Tashiya Khan