Syria Essential Services (SES)

Project Dates: February 2015 - August 2016

Electricity, schools, roads, and other essential services are out of reach for many of Syria’s conflict-affected communities, magnifying the instability of their recovery efforts.


Southern Syria was at the center of a revolution that has spiraled into a civil war. Despite the challenging security situation and unpredictable nature of the war, USAID’s Syria Essential Services (SES) program provided assistance to stabilize conflict-affected communities in southern Syria. The program worked with local communities and councils to strengthen their ability to organize, administer, maintain, and expand essential services in the country. These essential services included improving public use buildings, water ways, electrical infrastructure, sewage systems, market access, and agricultural infrastructure.

SES involved a variety of strategies, such as leading training for local workers and providing grants to local communities. One main approach was designing and managing engineering solutions tailored to local contexts and actively involving the community in projects. SES sought out innovative technological solutions, such as solar technology, to make these solutions more sustainable. In addition, regular town hall meetings encouraged community participation and gave local councils the support and trust they needed to identify and respond to their communities’ changing needs.