MEDirections is delighted to share a new Research Project Report from the Wartime and Post Conflict in Syria project (WPCS).
On 22 March 2020, the Syrian Ministry of Health announced the country’s first case of the new coronavirus. As fears mounted in the war-ravaged country, the government introduced a plethora of precautionary measures in anticipation of an eventual outbreak of the pandemic.
As in other areas controlled by the Syrian regime, these precautionary measures were implemented and monitored in Daraa governorate in southern Syria. In parallel, small-scale community-based initiatives emerged mobilising resources and cross-border networks to introduce preventive measures and mitigate the economic impact of the crisis.
Based on interviews conducted between March and April 2020, this research paper studies the emergence of these local initiatives to counteract the spread of the coronavirus in Daraa governorate. It sheds light on the role of local notables and investigates variations in the responses of the Syrian regime and the Baath Party to the community initiatives springing up across the governorate.