Syria: SIOI and NPWJ conclude training

Syria: SIOI and NPWJ conclude training on SPHERE humanitarian charter

The humanitarian situation inside Syria remains dramatic and the 6 million people internally displaced need to find their daily way to survive: “As the situation gets worse, not better, it is the ordinary men, women and children of Syria who continue to bear the brunt of this conflict, regardless of who they are, where they are from, or their religious beliefs”. These the words used by Valerie Amos, UN Humanitarian Chief, when addressing the United Nations Security Council on 28 March 2014.

Building the capacity of Syrian civil society groups and human rights activists involved in humanitarian assistance was one of the main aims of the SPHERE training, held between 26-31 March 2014 in Gaziantep, Turkey. The training was organised by the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in partnership with Kirkayak Art Center.

This 6-day course was designed to acquaint participants with theSphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, the most widely known and internationally recognised set of common principles for quality and accountability in the humanitarian sector. The course enabled participants to use the Minimum Standards in planning, delivering and monitoring humanitarian assistance. As stated in the Sphere Project's Strategy 2015, “Sphere works for a world where the right of all people affected by disaster to re-establish their lives and livelihoods is recognized and acted upon in ways that respect their voice and promote their dignity, livelihoods and security”.

Participants, who came mostly from Northern region of Syria, but also from Damascus, face in their daily life the emergency of IDPs in conflict areas: they work directly in Syrian IDPs camps in the border regions of Idlib and Aleppo or coordinate the humanitarian response carried out by Syrian NGOs and opposition-related institutions.

The course provided in-depth training on the minimum standards designed by the SPHERE project and the monitoring mechanisms to plan and deliver humanitarian actions, examining the practical situation on the ground and the needs within Syria, with a view to helping these activists and their networks work effectively on the ground. As with other courses, this training was also devoted to practical exercises and case studies enabling participants to contextualise the standards presented during the course and to engage presenters with the problems they face in their daily work inside Syria. An integral part of the agenda focused on sexual and gender-based violence awareness, within the framework of humanitarian response, considering the importance and sensitivity of this issue.