Navigating Fragmentation: Humanitarian Aid, Borders and Conflict Lines

English and Arabic versions | تحميل عربي

Authors: Juline Beaujouan, in collaboration with (in alphabetical order): Muhannad al-Rish; Abdallah El hafi; Eyas Ghreiz; Ayham Odat

This policy brief discusses the politics of humanitarian aid in Syria, borders versus conflict lines, the role of armed groups, lessons learned to date, and the devolution of risk and responsibility. Recommendations are provided for donors, (I)NGOs, and diplomatic representatives.

Over a decade of violent conflict has left deep scars on the Syrian socio-political and geographical landscape. The country is fragmented into four governance and territorial entities, and communities are divided by conflict lines. Yet, global challenges – such as the Syrian refugee crisis, the threat posed by transnational radical groups, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic – do not stop at borders. Identifiable “fragments” do not operate in complete isolation and are indeed interdependent.

The Navigating Fragmentation series of policy briefs has been developed from a research project that focused on the ever-evolving and interactive process of fragmentation in Syria and dynamics of “rebordering” (Vignal, 2017) during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Improving free movement in Northwest Syria (policy brief)

Improving free movement in Daraa, South Syria (policy brief)