Backgrounder - Canada announces new commitment for Syrians


Political engagement

Canada has consistently supported the United Nations in working toward an inclusive intra-Syrian political solution, as laid out in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. An inclusive political transition is only possible through the meaningful participation of all Syrians, including women. Canada is a vigorous advocate for the inclusion of women in politics, negotiations and conflict resolution. Canadian officials have continued to support the women, peace and security agenda in all engagement with Syrian stakeholders.

Accountability for human rights violations is also critical to a sustainable political solution. Canada has addressed the issue through sanctions legislation and support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United Nations and independent investigative mechanisms. In March 2021, Canada, in partnership with the Netherlands, formally requested negotiations with Syria to address its grave human rights violations under the Convention Against Torture.

Humanitarian assistance

Canada is working with humanitarian partners to provide gender-responsive life-saving assistance to millions of people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. This funding will help crisis-affected people meet their basic needs, including by providing food assistance; protection; comprehensive health services; and water, sanitation and hygiene. This humanitarian assistance also provides access to essential social and public services and addresses the specific rights and needs of women and girls, such as those related to sexual and reproductive health and to sexual and gender-based violence.

Working with partners, including UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Canada ensures that the specific needs and priorities of vulnerable and marginalized individuals are addressed. A top humanitarian donor in the region, Canada fulfills its commitments as a signatory to the Grand Bargain for humanitarian assistance by providing multi-year and flexible regional funding to partners.

Unobstructed access remains critical for ensuring that humanitarian assistance reaches those most in need. That is why Canada continues to call for the renewal of the United Nations Security Council resolution on the UN-sponsored cross-border humanitarian passage in Syria.

Development assistance

Canada is providing development assistance for long-term support in building the capacity and resilience of governments, communities and households in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. In Syria, Canadian programming aims to build the resilience of individuals and communities. Canada’s assistance in the region focuses on empowering women and girls and advancing gender equality; supporting effective and accountable governance; improving the quality and sustainability of gender-responsive social services, including education; and fostering economic growth that works for everyone.

Peace and stabilization assistance

Canada, through its Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs), supports initiatives to advance a political resolution to the conflict in Syria and to counter Daesh. PSOPs currently supports Syrian activists and civil society in pursuing accountability for crimes committed in Syria and is encouraging women to engage in the political process and ensuring they are represented in decisions about Syria’s future. Further, PSOPs is supporting initiatives to provide Syrians with access to truthful and reliable information to counter disinformation propagated by adversarial actors.

Providing support to the Global Coalition Against Daesh to rebuild the resilience of communities that were liberated from Daesh is a significant PSOPs priority. This includes supporting the restoration of essential services as well as strengthening communities’ capacity to reintegrate displaced persons and peacefully reconcile grievances.

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