Last week, the Gulfsands management team had a great series of very productive discussions in Washington DC regarding our energy-led, Syrian humanitarian initiative - Project Hope. The initiative has the potential to make a huge difference to all Syrian people, by generating US$15-20 billion per annum, which can be used for humanitarian and early recovery initiatives as well as combatting the resurgence of ISIS.
We appreciate all the feedback and support received from a wide range of analysts, think tanks, and other practitioners who share our passion for helping ALL Syrian people.
Experts in US & Middle East foreign policy, post-withdrawal security, counterterrorism & intelligence, energy market dynamics and government relations as well as legal advisors specializing in sanctions, litigation and other regulatory compliance helped us to better understand the complexities that need to be navigated and resolved in designing Project Hope.
We discussed how the humanitarian crisis in Syria continues to deteriorate, with over 90% of Syrians below the poverty line and 80% of Syrians assessed as being food insecure. We also heard about the devastating health, safety and environmental issues arising in the country, particularly in the Northeast of Syria, where illicit and unsophisticated production of the oil fields by entities affiliated with the self-proclaimed Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (the “AANES”) and the People’s Protection Units (“YPG”) continues. The side effects of this environmental disaster are clear to see, with reports of increased cancer cases as well as extensive contamination of water sources for both human and livestock consumption.
There is also no doubt that improving the economic situation of Syrians, and distributing wealth, prevents the causes of extremism and the return of ISIS.
We will now digest the great feedback received and further develop our framework to help make a better future for all Syrians. We will continue to engage with international and regional stakeholders to raise the profile of these important issues and generate support for Project Hope.
If you are interested to hear more, please visit our website at https://www.gulfsands.com or follow us on Linkedin. Please also let us know your views on Project Hope. We are listening.