As the Syria crisis enters its seventh year, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life. 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 4.6 million people in need trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where they are exposed to grave protection threats. Over half of the population has been forced from their homes, and many people have been displaced multiple times. Children and youth comprise more than half of the displaced, as well as half of those in need of humanitarian assistance. Among conflict-affected communities, life-threatening needs continue to grow. Neighbouring countries have restricted the admission of people fleeing Syria, leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded in deplorable conditions on their borders. In some cases, these populations are beyond the reach of humanitarian actors.
In the wake of all the devastation that has occurred after the March 2011, nearly one thousand Syrian-led civil society organizations (CSOs) have been formed to respond to the humanitarian catastrophe. While Syrian CSOs have developed skills through on-the-ground experience under extremely difficult conditions, systemic gaps in organizational capacities limit their ability to plan, implement and evaluate programs at international standards and in coordination with other local and international actors. These limitations, if not addressed, will continue to hinder the humanitarian response as well as future post-conflict rebuilding of Syria.