After the Arab Spring in 2011, the Middle East seems to have begun moving to a new geopolitical direction. The central to the movement has been the Syrian conflict. With the people's demonstration demanding for democracy, there was a time when things would easily change, but eventually, the conflict emerged which has given birth to ISIL. The prolonged violence caused approximately 5.7 million people to flee Syria, and 6.2 million to be internally displaced (as of December 2018, UNOCHA's Humanitarian Needs Overview 2019), most of whom still cannot return home. At present, the situation has become more stable in most part of Syria, but the recovery from here would be a long way off. The power games between neighboring countries and other stakeholders are continuing, and it is necessary to closely watch how Syria will progress in the future.
Before 2011, JICA was a well-known agency to the Syrian people, making a significant contribution within the fields of water resources, electricity, economic and industrial promotion. In the water resources sector, we constructed water resource management systems for two of the seven watersheds in the country, and constructed a water distribution facility to serve Damascus and the surrounding area. In the power sector, a total of 2,380 MW generated by thermal power plants (total of 5) built by Japanese companies accounted for about 30% of the country's total installed capacity (8,200 MW) in 2010. Among them, JICA supported the construction of three locations (1,230 MW, 127.42 billion yen) with concessional yen loan.
In April 2011, Japanese officials were evacuated from Syria. While JICA Syrian office relocated to Jordan, supporting Syrian national staff remotely, we are searching for means to be ready to assist when the recovery stage begins. We also provide various support to the Syrian refugees and their host communities in neighboring countries such as Jordan and Turkey, and this is the third year to invite Syrian refugees to Japan as foreign students to become a valuable human resource for the reconstruction of their country and bridging two nations.
I am thankful all the support that have kindly given to us.
JICA Syria Office