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Addressing the crises in Iraq and Syria and impacts on the region: helping those most affected

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On February 8, 2016, the Government of Canada announced a new approach to respond to the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria and their impact on the region.

One of the key objectives of the approach is helping those most affected by the crises. To meet this goal Canada will work with experienced Canadian, local and international partners to:

  • deliver $840 million in humanitarian assistance over the next three years to support  the basic needs of those hardest hit by the conflicts, including food, shelter, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as protection and emergency education. Assistance will target the most vulnerable, including children and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence;  and
  • deliver $270 million over the next three years to build local capacity to provide basic social services, (e.g. education, health, water, sanitation), maintain and rehabilitate public infrastructure, foster inclusive growth and employment – including by enhancing women’s and youth employment – and advance inclusive and accountable governance. Programming will focus on helping women and youth, improving maternal, newborn and child health and advancing gender equality. It will also focus on promoting environmental sustainability.

Depending on local circumstances, programming in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria will help address:

  • the educational needs of children and youth;
  • the capacity of municipalities to provide basic services and manage tensions between hosting communities and refugees as required; and
  • youth and women’s employment, including through training.


The solution to the crises in the region must be, first and foremost, political.  As such, another priority of Canada’s new approach is increasing its diplomatic role in helping to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria, and assisting the efforts of the Iraqi government to foster reconciliation.

In implementing our new approach, an increased presence on the ground in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon will allow Canada to engage more effectively with local and international partners and actively contribute to finding solutions to the issues facing these countries and the region.