Many of the Syrian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Turkey and providing humanitarian aid inside Syria have reached a high level of organizational and operational capacity that was previously absent.
The capacity-building initiatives of multiple donors, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organization (INGO) partners have helped a number of these groups develop their ability to provide humanitarian responses in accordance with international standards and to be effectively involved in the international coordination structure that was previously out of reach to them. In addition, as the Syrian conflict marks its sixth anniversary, some of these Syrian aid groups now have up to six years of experience in aid delivery and on-the-ground operations. These groups are staffed primarily by Syrians, many of whom are in the field on a daily basis, risking their lives to serve their own communities. They are the people who are most familiar with what is happening on the ground at any given moment, and who best understand the changing humanitarian needs and how to adapt their work accordingly. With this significant new talent pool available, the moment is right for donors and operational agencies to take next steps toward supporting humanitarian response in Syria that is “as local as possible,” in keeping with best practice and the stated commitments that donors and INGOs have voiced over the past decade.