Emergency repsonders clear rubble
Emergency responders clear rubble with Syria Regional Program-provided heavy machinery following a regime attack in Maaret Nouman, Idleb, in November 2014.

Supporting Syrians who are struggling for a future Syria based on democratic governance and respect for human rights.


Five crucial kilometers of main roads in Saqba are repaired with support from the Syria Regional Program, connecting citizens to
Five crucial kilometers of main roads in Saqba are repaired with support from the Syria Regional Program, connecting citizens to markets and children to schools.


Civil war, economic collapse and weak governance allow extremists, particularly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to thrive in many parts of Syria. USAID/OTI programming helps groups that want a peaceful and inclusive future stand up and resist extremists by laying the groundwork for a country based on mutual respect for all its citizens. An inclusive and peaceful Syria is necessary for any long-term and durable solution to extremism and the threat of terrorism facing the United States.


USAID/OTI’s Syria Regional Program (SRP) works closely with trusted and vetted local organizations to implement quick-impact activities that promote an inclusive and stable Syria. By strengthening individuals and groups who are saving lives, meeting basic needs, promoting moderate values and engaging with vulnerable populations, USAID/OTI’s partners serve as a bulwark against extremism. To achieve this goal, USAID/OTI works along three lines of effort:

  • Enable the early recovery of areas liberated from ISIS;
  • Strengthen communities’ ability to resist extremist groups; and
  • Maintain and increase the influence of strategic moderate actors.

In order to inform programming toward these objectives, USAID/OTI produces original research on trends and developments inside Syria. 


Illustrative examples of SRP programming include:

  • Rapid restoration of services in communities liberated from ISIS. By restoring electricity, water, schools and hospitals, SRP assistance fosters the legitimacy of moderate actors and civilians’ sense of normalcy. This approach helps communities recover from ISIS control, thereby reducing the extremist group’s appeal and the likelihood of its return. 
  • Support to local councils and civil society organizations, increasing the influence of moderate actors in strategic areas where extremist groups are vying for control. By helping local councils meet the urgent needs of their communities and promoting civil society organizations’ work on reconciliation and inclusiveness, USAID/OTI increases community resilience to extremist ideology. 
  • Support to emergency responders. Over $31 million in assistance to civil defense teams supports impartial emergency responders. To date, the civil defense teams have saved over 91,000 lives and emerged as one of the strongest pillars of civil society, able to amplify the voice of Syrians’ struggling against extremism and authoritarianism.


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