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Study: Syria’s de facto forces use early recovery and reconstruction projects to their advantage

International bodies fund seven types of projects within the procedural definition of the concept of early recovery and reconstruction in Syria.

The Day After Organization released a report on the impact of early recovery and reconstruction activities on property, land and housing rights in Syria. The report analyzes this impact by adopting a procedural definition of the concept of early recovery and reconstruction, identifying the types of activities it includes, and studying them in terms of the current situation, the general context and the influential actors, in  addition to the impact it has on housing, land and property rights, based on available secondary data and data, and the results  of interviews, including informal interviews with two staff members of United Nations organizations operating in Damascus. In addition to the relevant studies that she conducted and is conducting the next day within the project of property and housing rights.

Despite the study’s focus on the regime-controlled areas, as they include the largest geographical area and the highest population, the regime’s control over the Syrian state’s legislative and executive apparatus and its international rehabilitation increase its control over directing the outputs of early recovery projects in a way that serves its interest,  including the impact of these projects on housing, land and property rights. However, it covered all areas of Syria.

The study briefly addressed housing, land and property rights  in the Syrian context from the socio-economic and human rights aspects, and included an analysis of early recovery and reconstruction  activities, with a focus on their impact on housing, land and property rights.

Based on  the broad definition of the concept of early recovery in Syria, which includes all humanitarian and development efforts made by local and international bodies to improve economic and social conditions in various parts of the country, in addition to the efforts made to develop the effectiveness of the work of institutions involved in improving these conditions,  the research linked activities directly related to the reconstruction process with the early recovery process, including the rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure and residential, commercial and industrial buildings in Syria. Research Focus In understanding the impact of early recovery and reconstruction projects in Syria, on housing rights and housing and land ownership, being the most visible in terms of harm in the Syrian context.

International bodies fund seven types of projects within the procedural definition of the concept of early recovery and reconstruction in Syria.

The identification  of these projects reflects the depth of the level of inclusion of housing, land and property rights by each of these types and their impact on them. These projects include infrastructure rehabilitation, reconstruction and restoration of damaged residential buildings, and the construction of new residential communities.

These three types focus on activities directly related to reconstruction, and the  remaining four types are more closely related  to the narrow concept of early recovery, and include projects to support health services, support to educational services, support to private employment and job creation, and projects to support social cohesion.

The impact of the Syrian context on housing, land  and property rights is visible from two perspectives, according to the study. The first relates to the consequences of  armed conflict and the accompanying violation of these rights, including the seizure and legalization of housing and land, and the change of  official records accordingly, and the second dimension relates to the economics of authoritarian regimes, such as the constantly functioning  Syrian regime. to lend all available resources, including housing and land, to serve his interests only in continuing to rule.

The results of the study show that most early recovery and reconstruction projects in Syria do not take into account housing, land and property rights,  but on the contrary, the de facto forces in all regions use these projects, funded mainly by international organizations and bodies, to recycle property for the benefit of their cronies and those close to them.

Since 2020, she has produced a number of research papers within the Property and Housing Rights Project (HLP), the latest of which was the report “Beyond the Trilogy of Siege, Destruction, Displacement… violations of property and housing rights in Syria.” The report included a case study of seven informal settlements in Syria: Jobar, Daraya, Tadamon, Qusayr, Baba Amr, Jabal Badro, and Daraa refugee camp.

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