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AGENZIA ITALIANA PER LA COOPERAZIONE ALLO SVILUPPO  - Libano e Siria - Sede di Beirut | – ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION - Lebanon and Syria - Beirut Office Ambasciata d'Italia a Beirut European Union Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Lebanon

Syria - Projects which are suspended

Syria - Projects which are suspended

The worsening of the crisis and increasing instability in Syria in terms of security have led the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/General Directorate of Development Cooperation to have to suspend, on 14th March 2012, the activities of the Italian Embassy in Damascus and to repatriate all the staff of the diplomatic office. Therefore, the entire program of the Italian Development Cooperation in Syria is to be considered suspended .

The activities of the Italian Cooperation in Syria were governed primarily by the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Damascus on 23rdNovember 2000 and by the relative program agreed at the time, which envisaged funding for about 83 million euros (between grants and soft loans). Such funds were allocated for the development of projects in the sectors of: health (a post basic nursing training program, creation of a child heart surgery center with a department for Bone Marrow Transplantation at the Hospital of the University of Damascus, a program providing medical supplies to the Hospital of Ma'arra), agriculture and agro-industry (technical assistance for improving Syrian olive oil, rationalization of the use of water resources in the region of Ras al-Ain), cultural heritage enhancement (program for the renovation and reorganization of the Museum and the Citadel of Damascus, renewal and modernization of the National Museums of Idlib and Aleppo), social (subsidized credit line to support the Agency fighting against unemployment), as well as support to SMEs (in the sectors of textile and clothing). The Memorandum of 2000 envisaged interventions in grants for a total of about 26.5 million euro and interventions in soft loans for a total of about 56.5 million euro. Some of these projects have been completed or are nearing completion, while others are about to start or are still under verification.

On the 11th September 2008 the new Development Bilateral Protocol was signed providing financial support for the years 2008 to 2010 for an amount of 63 million euro as soft loans and 24.45 million euro as grants .

Finally, on the 16th December 2009, the new Development Cooperation Framework Agreement was signed between the two countries and came into force on 27th December 2010.Before the suspension of activities in 2012, the ongoing programs were the following:


- "Rationalization of the use of natural resources for the improvement of agricultural production" (AID. 9159) implemented by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (CIHEAM) of Bari;

- "Land enhancement and socio-economic support to the rural communities of Ebla " (AID. 6187);

implemented by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (CIHEAM) of Bari;

- "Regional Programme on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the Near East” implemented by FAO;

- "Institutional development of Organic Agriculture in Syria” implemented by FAO;

- "Project for the prevention of forest fires in Lattakia” implemented by FAO;

- "Capacity building at governmental and non-governmental level, for the management of Iraqi migration flows and to safeguard the rights of migrants in the countries affected by the continuing crisis of displaced Iraqis " (AID. 9049). Voluntary contribution to IOM;

- Program to support university education and health care for the Iraqi refugees in Syria. Voluntary contribution to UNHCR.


- "Human resources training and support in the field of information and health management at the Hospital of Maarrat” (AID. 6936);

- "Creation of a child heart surgery center with a department for Bone Marrow Transplantation at the Hospital of the University of Damascus” (AID. 6931);

- "National Museum of Damascus: program for the renovation and reorganization of the museum and of the relative additional services; Citadel of Damascus: procedures for the creation of a cultural district with urgent structural interventions” (AID. 6935);

- "Regional Museum of Idlib: program for the renovation and reorganization of the museum” (AID. 6932).