Safe, viable and peaceful living conditions in the Middle East
For more than a century, the Middle East has been one of the prime conflict-affected and fragile regions of the world. It is characterized by several ongoing and latent conflicts, most prominently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by political volatility in Lebanon, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The region suffers from a protracted humanitarian crisis in which the usually short- to medium-term humanitarian challenges have grown akin to long-term development challenges.
Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon’s vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and droughts adds an additional threat to the region and its populations.
Answering to the region’s humanitarian and development challenges SDC is taking a comprehensive aid approach. Furthermore, in order to benefit from synergies and complementary interests SDC cooperates in a whole-of-government approach with other Swiss departments and their sub-units such as the Federal Office for Migration, Political Affairs Division IV or the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
|The comprehensive aid approach SDC has developed in the Middle East includes the optimal complementary use of personal funds, intervention modalities, instruments, approaches and knowledge stemming from both humanitarian aid and development cooperation. It also takes into account the primarily regional character of many key humanitarian and development challenges. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is the major regional partner.|
SDC’s engagement in the region is guided by the mission to contribute to safe, viable and peaceful living conditions in the Middle East. The three strategic objectives supporting this mission are:
1. Foster inclusive and more cohesive societies which are key to sustainable peace, as they implicitly address issues such as participation in decision-making, equal access to
resources and opportunities, and peaceful conflict res olution methods.
2. Improve the delivery of key state functions since in the medium- and long-term, peace, stability and development depend on effective and accountable public systems that deliver key state functions.
3. Catalyse sustainable socio-economic development since future stability and development depend on greater tax revenues to fund an efficient and accountable state and more jobs that allow individuals to improve their lives.
SDC’s most important target groups in the region are Palestine refugees, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from and in Iraq and the neighbouring countries and other, economically and socially vulnerable persons such as, for instance, migrant workers. Regional and cross-national aspects in the areas of water management and migration will receive high priority in the years to come. Conflict-sensitive programme management (CSPM), gender, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) climate change and governance will be systematically taken into account in the design of programmes and projects.
The two cooperation offices in Jerusalem and Amman (associated to the latter are two programme offices in Beirut and Damascus) work closely together in the implementation of all regional programmes and projects.
Here, you will find more publications, links, documents and articles about Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid in this region.