Brussels V Conference – Supporting the future of Syria and the region

The European Union and the United Nations will co-chair the fifth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” on 29 and 30 March 2021. In view of COVID-19 restrictions, the Conference will take place in a virtual format.

The overarching objective of the Brussels Conferences is to continue supporting the Syrian people and mobilise the international community in support of a comprehensive and credible political solution to the Syria conflict, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

As with the four previous editions, Brussels V will also address the most critical humanitarian and resilience issues affecting Syrians and communities hosting refugees from Syria, both inside the country and in the region and will renew the international community’s political and financial support for Syria’s neighbours, particularly Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as Egypt and Iraq. Brussels V will be the main pledging event for Syria and the region in 2021.

The Conference will also provide an interactive platform for dialogue with civil society and NGOs active in Syria and the region.

On this page, you will find all the information and material related to the Brussels V Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”.

All the sessions of the Conference will be livestreamed and available directly on this webpage.

The streaming will start at 9.45AM CET on Monday 29 March 2021


At the fifth Brussels Conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the Region' co-chaired on 29-30 March 2021 by the European Union and the United Nations, the international community pledged €5.3 billion for 2021 and beyond for Syria and the neighbouring countries hosting the largest Syrian refugee population. Of this amount, €3.7 billion were announced by the EU, with €1.12 billion coming from the European Commission and €2.6 billion from EU Member States. The EU as a whole remains the largest donor with €24.9 billion of humanitarian, stabilisation and resilience assistance collectively mobilised since the onset of the crisis in 2011 to address its consequences.

You can find the fundraising annex with the pledges’ breakdown here.

For a full list of participants, see here.



Please note, all the sessions in this programme will be livestreamed and available to follow on this page.

Day of Dialogue

29 March 2021

Engage in the Day of Dialogue by submitting written questions before or during the panel discussions on Slido, or on Twitter by using the #SyriaConf2021 and #DayofDialogue.

All panels of the Day of Dialogue will be moderated by Mr Jaafar Abdul Karim, journalist and host of Jaafartalk at Deutsche Welle.


10.00 – 11.30 Panel I: Economic development and sustainable livelihoods in the region

The panel will provide space for a constructive dialogue of civil society organisations with the institutional stakeholders (EU, UN, governments in the region, International Financial Institutions) about mitigating current socio-economic hardship and stimulating livelihoods and job creation. Taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 and other crises on the national economies in host countries, the panel will address other key obstacles that undermine inclusive recovery prospects and job creation especially for the most vulnerable, and discuss strategies to overcome these. The speakers will be invited to explore ways to better support local partners in expanding local jobs and livelihoods opportunities as well as social protection services.  Opportunities for a strengthened role of both private sector and civil society in the current economic crisis, as well as possibilities of partnership, will be assessed. Last, but not least the panel will explore ways to maximise refugee contributions to local economies, especially focusing on initiatives led by women or involving youth.  The EU will speak to its recently-presented Economic and Investment Plan.


Mr Maciej Popowski, Acting Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission

Ms Khalida Bouzar, Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Director for Arab States

Mr Herve de Villeroche, Special Advisor on Development to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


  • H.E. Ramzi Mcharrafieh - Minister of Social Affairs and Tourism of the Lebanese Republic
  • H.E. Ayman Mufleh - Minister for Social Development of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • E. Dr. Mehmet Selim Bağlı – Deputy Minister of Family, Labour and Social Services of Turkey
  • Mr Pierre Heilbronn, Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Ms Flavia Palanza, Director for Neighbouring Countries, European Investment Bank
  • Mr Saroj Jha, World Bank Regional Director for the Middle East
  • Dr. Sawsan Al Majali, Head of Durrat Almanal for Development and Training, Jordan
  • Ms Nadine Kheshen, Coordinator PASC network, Lebanon
  • Ms Sengul Akcar, Founder and Board member, Kadın Emeğini Değerlendirme Vakfı, Turkey

12.30 – 14.00 Panel II: Food Security and Livelihoods Humanitarian Response

This session aims at taking stock of the development of the humanitarian situation inside Syria concerning the lack of livelihoods and food security. The panellists of the session will discuss the most efficient, dignified and durable approaches for strengthening food security response and livelihoods support inside Syria, as well as to reduce aid dependency amongst the most vulnerable individuals and communities. The session will pay particular attention to the needs and inclusion of vulnerable groups such as of women, children, elderly and people with disabilities.

Chair: Mr Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for crisis management


  • Ms Vivi Michou, European Commission DG ECHO, Director General
  • Ms Corinne FLEISCHER, World Food Programme (WFP), Regional Director
  • Mr Matthew NIMS, USAID, Dep. Assistant to the Administrator of USAID bureau of Humanitarian Assistance
  • Mr Mike ROBSON, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Country Director Syria
  • Ms Aline Yacoubian, Oxfam Syria, Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihoods Policy Officer
  • Ms Jeannie ZIELINSKI, GOAL, Country Director Syria Response
  • Mr Alaa WAFAI, Syrian Association for Relief and Development (SARD), Director
  • Eng. Khaled ERKSOUSSI, Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), Secretary General

15.00 – 16.30 Panel III: A Path to Justice and Peace: Accountability, Detainees release and missing persons in Syria

Since the start of the uprising in 2011, gross violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) have been committed in Syria by all parties to the conflict, including enforced disappearances and systematic use of torture, sexual violence and killing in the Syrian detention facilities. Over 100.000 people have also disappeared, and their whereabouts are unknown. The EU has been one of the most vocal in support of accountability for crimes committed, including through support to Syrian and international investigative bodies (IIIM, CoI and OPCW), demanding the release of detainees, and uncovering the fate of the missing.

This event will put the international spotlight on detainees and missing persons in Syria, renew the call for detainees release and reiterate the EU full support to accountability for crimes committed against civilians.  In particular the event will look at international and Syrian civil society efforts on accountability, detainees and missing persons, and give a voice to the families of the missing and those forcibly detained. It will further spotlight the plight of survivors of arbitrary detention and torture, their needs, and demands for support and justice.


Mr Stefano Sannino, Secretary General, EEAS

Ms Khawla Matar, United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Syria

Mr Dimiter Chalev, OHCHR Representative, Human Rights Office for Syria


  • Ms Wafa Mustafa, Journalist and Activist
  • Ms Hiba Alhamed, MASSAR - Coalition of Families of Persons Kidnapped by ISIL
  • Ms Noura Ghazi-Safadi, Human Rights Lawyer, Co-Founder and Director of Nophotozone and Founding Member of Families for Freedom
  • Mr Mazen Darwish, Human Rights Lawyer, President of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
  • Ms Noura Al Jizawi, Human Right Defender, Founder of Start Point and Researcher at Toronto University
  • Mr Fabrizio Carboni, Regional Director – Near and Middle East, ICRC
  • Ms Kathryne Bomberger, Director General, ICMP.

Closing remarks: Mr Carl Hallergard, Deputy Managing Director MENA, EEAS


30 March 2021

For a full list of participants, see here.

You can watch the full ministerial again here.


All sessions will be moderated by Valerie Hopkins.

13.00-13.45: Opening Session

13.45-14.50 + 15.15-15.50: Session 1 - The need for a political solution after ten years of conflict. Support for UNSCR 2254 and the UN facilitated political process


Mr Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission

Mr Geir Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria


14.50-15.15: Press Conference

15.50-17.30: Session 2 - Regional resilience and neighbouring countries’ challenges and responsibilities


Mr Maciej Popowski, Acting Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission

Mr Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations' Development Programme (UNDP)

Mr Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

17.30-20.00: Session 3 - How to ensure effective humanitarian aid delivery on education and protection?


Mr Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management

Mr Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

20.00: Total pledge announcement by Commissioner Lenarčič

To highlight the diversity and the richness of Syrian culture, the EU, in cooperation with Lagrange Points Brussels, will organise four virtual concerts featuring a variety of Syrian musicians, Sufi whirling and poetry artists; an online introduction to Syrian cuisine; and an exhibition at Lagrange Points Brussels. All videos will be available online.

Side events

Numerous side events will take place in the margins of the Brussels V Conference, initiated and organised by civil society organisations, participating countries, the United Nations and international organisations.

DISCLAIMER: This compilation is based on information made available to the EU's Brussels V Conference Team. It has been compiled for information purposes only and may not be comprehensive. The descriptions are based on open sources and communication received from event organisers. Views, thoughts and opinions expressed during these events reflect solely those of the speakers and do not constitute endorsement by the European Union or the United Nations.

Side events

Dialogue with civil society

10 years after the beginning of the Syria crisis, engaging with civil society remains central to the European Union’s work in Syria and its neighbouring countries.

In the framework of the Conference, the EU launched a virtual consultation with civil society organisations to gather recommendations on key issues affecting the civil society, people inside Syria, Syrian refugees and hosting communities in the neighbouring countries. The online survey was launched and remained open for two weeks, from 18 February until 2 March.

The insights and recommendations of 1.572 participants from civil society representatives from Syria and the region, international NGOs, local authorities, academia, and individuals resulted in the Report on the Civil society consultations.

The consultation points to the appetite of civil society and local organisations for greater involvement in all aspects of assistance in the response to the Syria crisis. Support to livelihoods and education are highlighted as the most important priorities for support, alongside the importance of the “triple nexus” of humanitarian aid, development, and peace, crucial for promoting sustainable solutions to the crisis.

The contributions to the online survey, together with the targeted discussions with EU and UN’s local partners in Syria and the region constitute the backbone of the consultations with civil society.

The outcomes of these consultations will be presented during the Conference and will contribute to shape the international community's response and ensure its relevance. The event will be web-streamed and will bring together civil society, NGOs, international organisations, refugee-hosting countries, the EU and the UN community.

If you would like to receive updates about the consultations and the Day of Dialogue with civil society, please register via this link.

For any questions related to the consultations or the Day of Dialogue with civil society, please contact


“In the future, I hope to continue my studies if I get the opportunity, [...] [I hope] to be successful and to be beneficial to the society I live in [...] and to my country, Syria.”

Mohammad, Syrian refugee – Jordan

Press material

The press conference by Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of a stronger Europe in the World and Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, can be watched again here.

For any press-related questions, please contact the Spokesperson’s Service.


Pictures and videos from the Conference can be found here:

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