In March 2019, the work of the Global Coalition against Daesh and its partners from the Syrian Democratic Forces helped liberate the final territorial strongholds still controlled by Daesh. The terrorist organization, however, continues to threaten the region. It is for this reason that France remains committed within the international community to prevent any resurgence from Daesh and achieve a full and sustainable victory.
Since the liberation of Raqqa in October 2017, France has been involved in helping populations which had suffered the tyranny of Daesh and in rehabilitating liberated territories. Dozens of projects led by local and international NGOs or United Nations agencies were supported, totalling over €82 million between 2017 and 2020.
This aid aimed to:
- help displaced persons,
- facilitate the return of populations,
- help stabilize the region in order to fight against the resurgence of Daesh.
The humanitarian assistance and stabilization provided by France in northeastern Syria is based around several areas:
Rebuilding health infrastructures
Health is a priority for France in northeastern Syria. French-supported projects have helped rehabilitate major infrastructures and create new establishments (mobile clinics and primary, secondary and tertiary health centres), including in displacement camps.
France financed the reopening of Raqqa national hospital and is currently supporting the operations of eleven departments in the hospital. It is also contributing to staff training programmes in Derek and Raqqa.
In the face of the risks linked to COVID-19, France is also financing protective equipment, intensive care beds and specialized training for staff.
Mine clearing and training local experts
French aid helped mine clearance activities in several parts of the city of Raqqa and many villages in the regions of Al-Hasakah, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.
France is also helping to train independent local experts in mine clearance and to organize training for over 74,000 people to raise awareness of the risks posed by mines in areas which have been liberated from Daesh.
Providing food aid and supporting agriculture
Thanks to France’s support, food stocks were distributed in many localities and in Aricha displacement camp.
500,000 vulnerable persons have received French food aid over the last few months.
France is also helping the local economy by supporting 600 self-employed people, as well as the farming sector by providing small grants to farmers and helping to restore bakeries.
Enabling the supply of drinking water
France is helping supply the population of Raqqa and its province with drinking water by installing water tanks and repairing pumping stations. 21 stations have been rehabilitated in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor Governorates. It also funded the refilling of the Suwar canal which irrigates 4,000 hectares of farmland in the Deir-ez-Zor region.
Providing hygiene kits to displacement camps
France supports the work of NGOs and international organizations who are helping displaced persons in northeastern Syria by providing hygiene products and shelters. In 2020, this aid helped 67,000 people, with special focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Protecting and educating children
After being heavily hit by 10 years of war and Daesh’s tyranny, the education sector is receiving support from many projects to which France contributes. These projects enabled multi-faith schools, psychosocial support structures and aid for school integration to be rehabilitated or created, particularly for displaced populations. Over 5,600 children and parents from the Raqqa and Al-Hasakah regions take part in school catch-up programmes and receive psychosocial support.
Supporting civil society and media
France is helping to increase the professionalization of many local civil society organizations as well as independent local media. It also supports projects to encourage dialogue between communities in northeastern Syria on governance and local representation issues.