Syrian medical NGOs in the crisis: realities, perspectives and challenges

Syrian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were literally born during the current crisis, in response to various issues stemming from it. These NGOs are faced by various challenges, including organisational, inter-organisational and extra-organisational issues such as board management; weak soft and hard skills; neutrality challenges; donor dependency; logistical and security challenges; and relationships with other Syrian medical NGOs, the international donor community, community-based organisations and local administration councils, the various military factions, and governments in neighbouring countries. To respond to these challenges Syrian medical NGOs need to improve their skills levels, learn how to deal with international counter-terrorism measures, plan strategically rather than simply respond to crises, and initiate projects that cover both sides of the conflict.