UNDP side event at Supporting Syrians and the Region conference

Never Too Early to Plan - Lessons Learned for the Post-Agreement Reconstruction of Syria


23 january, 2017 from 16:30 to 17:45
Marina Congress Centre, Nautica Room
Katajanokanlaituri 6, Helsinki

Over the course of the past half-decade, Syria has seen 40 years of development gains unravel. Despite being classified as a middle-income country just a few years ago, current indicators place Syria’s level of development alongside that of low-income countries.

The conflict has so far cost Syria $275 billion in lost growth opportunities, an amount, which could rise to $1.3 trillion if the conflict continues through 2020. Six major Syrian cities had experienced $6.0-7.4 billion in damage across their education, energy, health, housing, road, and water and sanitation sectors. Syria’s impressive human resources remain but are scattered across the region and beyond as a result of war-induced displacement, and much of the country’s youth has gone years without access to formal education or vocational training.

These challenges will condition any model of reconstruction. While Syria presents some unique obstacles – and while many claim that it is premature to start thinking about reconstruction – it is never too early to start looking around the world for good and not-so-good practices of post-conflict reconstruction. In front of such historic and human challenges, learning from the past becomes imperative. 

This high-level panel will present a series of lessons and good practices related to post-conflict reconstruction and transitions from around the world to contribute and deepen on-going efforts for the reconstruction of Syria.  


Chair, Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Trade and Development, Finland 
Co-chair: Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
Her Excellency Michelle Cameron, Ambassador of Canada to the Lebanese Republic
Ali Al-Zatari, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Assistant Secretary General, Syria
Mr. Douglas Frantz, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
Peter Graaff, Deputy Executive Director

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