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Norwegian Refugee Council Holds its Regional Meeting in Damascus

(ST)- On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the Norwegian Refugee Council held its regional meeting at Damascus's Dama Rose Hotel.

In a reception held after the meeting, the Director of the Council's Office in Syria, Anna Kirvi, pointed out that the council, in cooperation with the Syrian Development Secretariat and the relevant ministries, has reached more than 360,000 beneficiaries since its activities in Damascus in 2016, stressing the need to build on the efforts being exerted by the Syrian government and many humanitarian organizations and doing more to those in need.

“The council is committed to helping the most affected Syrians to obtain timely and effective assistance, to withstand crises, rebuild their future and the Council seeks to develop its programs to better meet the needs of those affected and to support priority areas such as education, community services, infrastructure and to prepare for the safe and voluntary return of refugees from outside the country,” Mrs. Kirvi indicated.

For his part, the Regional Director of the Council, Carsten Hansen, noted that the support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates and the Syrian Secretariat for Development, especially with regard to the establishment of the regional meeting of the Council on Tuesday in Damascus, pointing to the support provided by the Council to the Syrians in neighboring countries since the beginning of the crisis and the need to continue discussions about the return of refugees to their country and understanding the needs of those affected and cooperation between the parties in Syria and abroad to be ready and be able to provide assistance to the Syrians today and in the future.

For his part, Secretary General of the Syrian Secretariat for Development, Fares Kallass, affirmed the importance of the meeting in terms of engaging in better work together, noting the human values, professionalism and initiatives adopted in Syria and the partnership with the Syrian Secretariat for Development and government institutions.

“The need for humanitarian actors to reflect the real situation inside Syria and their share to the benefit of the beneficiaries and the pursuit of their joint common humanitarian goal and communication between them, indicating the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures imposed on the country that continue to affect the provision of basic needs of the affected, these measures also affect the work of governmental and non-governmental humanitarian organizations on the ground,” he pointed out.

The meeting, he explained, comes at a new stage of the country and that the Syrian Development Secretariat is aware of the changes and challenges and wants to anticipate the way it responds due to the imposition of those changes.

Mr. Kallass clarified that the Secretariat has developed its management model and structure in order to improve and strengthen its commitment and enhance the impact of its services on beneficiaries and the response in the right time.

Sharif al- Khatib