STD News

Private sector electricity providers, using small power generators working on gas oil, are increasingly spreading across regime areas, after initially starting operating in the Aleppo governorate in 2013. Since then, they have expanded to the governorates of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Lattakia and Tartous.
Two government delegations have recently visited Aleppo and met with local business leaders to address their electricity, customs, transportation, shipping subsidies, and finance concerns. Meanwhile, the Syrian cabinet has announced a flurry of decisions to improve the economic situation in the governorate.
The Syria Report is launching a series of in-depth interviews with some of the main humanitarian and development actors in Syria. Interview with Sachitra Chitrakar, Syria Country Director for the Danish Refugee Council.  
Recent weeks have seen an acceleration in the restoration of political and diplomatic ties between Syria and the Arab world. These moves have included visits of Bashar Al-Assad to the UAE and Oman the following day, a visit to Cairo by Syrian FM Faysal Meqdad, and reports that Saudi Arabia and Syria would soon reopen their consulates in their respective capitals.
Over a month after earthquakes devastated northern Syria and southern Turkey, local populations and governments are still reeling from the damages and consequences of the crisis.
An affiliate of the Bemo banking group is providing microfinance loans to members of a charity linked to a militia that fought during the war and to various Iranian political figures. The charity is based in the Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zeinab. Another company involved in this project is the local agent of Western Union. The move carries serious risks to the group’s reputation.
Syrian officials are urging international non-governmental organisations in the country to establish early recovery projects rather than to provide immediate humanitarian aid. Some experts say that this category of aid may resemble reconstruction efforts, such as the rehabilitation of infrastructure.
The Syrian Cabinet issued an increase in the monthly compensation of wounded veterans of the National Defence Forces, a pro-government paramilitary force, following a recommendation by the joint committee of the government and the Syria Trust for Development, an NGO run by First Lady Asma Al-Assad.