UNDP- Livelihoods Restoration in Crisis- Affected Communities in Syria

Project completed

13.5 million people in Syria, two thirds of the population, are in acute humanitarian need. They have lost incomes and sustenance; public infrastructures, especially the water, sanitation and electricity systems, are in disrepair or destroyed. To build local resilience and Civil Society capacities, the UNDP implemented project is scaling up on-going livelihood restoration interventions in Rural Damascus, Horns, Tartous and Latakia. The project creates livelihood opportunities and restores critical community infrastructure and services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Employment & economic development
Material relief assistance
Employment creation
Reconstruction and rehabilitation (till 2016)
01.12.2015 - 31.07.2017
CHF  3’000’000

The war in Syria continues to cause destruction to infrastructure and massive damage to every aspect of life. 13.5 million Syrians are considered in need of humanitarian assistance. 6.5 million are internally displaced (lDPs).

While violence and insecurity are the primary cause of the plight of civilians, disrupted livelihoods add much to it. Jobs and other sources of income have been lost, and there is little prospect for recovery. Prices continue to raise (e.g. the price of wheat flour doubled since 2011, and the price for rice increased four-fold). As a consequence, around 80% of the population lives today below poverty levels. 64.7% can no longer cover even their basic food and non­ food needs and thus are in extreme poverty:

Livelihood pressures on Syrians are compounded by the break-down of public infrastructure and services brought about by destruction and disrepair. Especially the water, sanitation and electricity systems are affected. 11.6 million people have no regular access to clean water and sanitation. Over 80% of Syria's localities are no longer provided regularly with electrical power. Thus both, households and local productive capacities are in a situation of constant and severe attrition.


To strengthen the resilience of affected people to cope with the effects of the protracted crisis and enable those whose livelihoods were severely disrupted to recover and rebuild their lives.

Target groups

A total of 653'000 crisis-affected people, including lDPs and host communities, in Rural Damascus, Horns, Tartous and Lattakia, with a special focus on women, youth and people with disabilities.

Medium-term outcomes

Basic conditions and opportunities for local sustenance provided in affected communities.


Public and private institutions, NGOs, CBOs, community groups, donors, local municipalities and UN agencies


Expected results:  

  1. Improved service delivery and repair of basic community infrastructure.
  2. Disrupted livelihoods restored/stabilised in affected communities.
  3. Capacities of national and local civil society organizations to contribute to community resilience and social cohesion are strengthened.
  4. Early Recovery, Livelihoods and Resilience programming is promoted through advocacy and coordination.

Results from previous phases:  

  1. 19 recovery and livelihoods interventions were implemented in partnership with local Civil Society in seven highly affected governorates: Hama, Horns, Tartous, Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Dar'a and AI-Hassakeh.
  2. 1,374 emergency employment opportunities were provided benefiting 6,774 employed and families as well as around 30 small businesses in AI­ Hassakeh, Dar'a, Hama, Horns, Rural Damascus and Tartous
  3. 142,000 people benefited indirectly from the interventions: hygiene and environmental conditions and access to basic services were improved in neighbourhoods; material was produced in local workshops making them accessible at reasonable prices.
  4. The intervention has mitigated the various operational and programmatic challenges (security, impact of the crisis, displacement dynamics, variety and extent of needs, damage to infrastructure, limited resources and absorption capacity of local actors) by following an area based participatory approach which has proven to be a success and a lesson learnt in capturing real needs in communities, and identifying the most appropriate implementation modality that promotes inclusiveness, ownership and sustainability. Mitigating risks while contributing to the socio economic recovery was achieved through relying on mainly local solutions (local procurements, productions, local partners and engagement of local communities in all interventions at an early stage).

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Development Programme

Coordination with other projects and actors

The project is in line with the UN Syria Strategic Response Plans 2015/2016 and with the overall SDC response to the Syrian crisis. In its function as "Early Recovery Cluster Leader" UNDP will promote synergies with other early recovery actors.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’000’000 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   2’000’000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   5’000’000
Project phases

Phase 2 01.12.2015 - 31.07.2017   (Completed)

Phase 1 15.11.2014 - 31.08.2015   (Completed)