UNDP chief highlights importance of development support to Syria and region

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Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP)

The Syrian crisis will have a "deep and long-lasting impact" on the development prospects of the country and its neighbours, according to Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

In an address to a high-level meeting of the UN refugee agency in Geneva on Monday, Clark said the conflict has seriously affected trade, agriculture, tourism and employment across the region.

Meanwhile, countries hosting Syrian refugees are experiencing competition for already limited resources such as water, land, jobs and essential services, resulting in increased social tensions in some areas.

"Obviously life-saving humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced peoples is vital, but it needs to be accompanied now by targeted, scaled-up, and rapid development support, both to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian relief and to ensure longer term improvements in livelihoods and services; not least, electricity, water and sanitation, health and education." (24")

She said humanitarian and development efforts should not be seen as being in competition, but rather as essential and complementary.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

 

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