Mercy Corps: Syria Crisis Needs Smarter Long-Term Investments

Dec 17, 2013, 12:06 ET from Mercy Corps

Global NGO calls on international community to fully fund new United Nations appeal

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the third anniversary of the start of the Syria crisis approaches, the unprecedented humanitarian needs require full funding of the United Nations $6.5 billion appeal, including $4.2 billion for the refugee response. However, in a new policy report, the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps is also urging a long overdue shift in the global community's response to the crisis.


"Three years on, we are still funding the Syria crisis with short-term fixes," says Neal Keny-Guyer, chief executive officer of Mercy Corps. "We need new approaches that meet today's needs while keeping an eye on building the long-term resilience of communities – that is, helping them better cope, adapt and rebound from this devastating crisis."

More than 2.3 million people have fled Syria since the beginning of the conflict, and the United Nations predicts that number will nearly double by the end of 2014.

Mercy Corps offers the following recommendations for further enhancing the effectiveness of the Syrian crisis response: 

  1. Move away from short-term fixes and strive to integrate relief and development efforts.
  2. Decentralize donor investments to strengthen alignment with local priorities and better integrate the response with pre-existing systems.
  3. Structure accountability mechanisms to give refugees and host communities a greater say in programming priorities and in measuring impact of investments over time.

"The scope and duration of the Syrian crisis demand we find ways to spend smarter and stretch our limited resources further," says Keny-Guyer. 

The Mercy Corps report, "Charting a New Course: Re-thinking the Syrian Refugee Response," outlines the scope of the crisis and effective response strategies. Click here to read or download the full report.

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world's toughest places. With a network of experienced professionals in more than 40 countries, we partner with local communities to put bold ideas into action to help people recover, overcome hardship and build better lives.

SOURCE Mercy Corps