Two years of the Civil Council of Raqqa

Two years have passed since the founding of the Civil Council of Raqqa. Despite limited possibilities, the Civil Council has been able to implement important projects.

The Civil Council of Raqqa was officially established on 18 April 2017 in Ain Issa, with the participation of key figures from the region. With the liberation of Raqqa by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on 17 October 2017, the Civil Council was able to start work. First task was the clearing of the remnants of war and the building of infrastructure. The Civil Council supported the forces of internal security in the clearance of mines in the city and thus prevented further endangerment of the population.

The ANHA news agency has spoken with Munir al-Khalaf, a member of the executive committee of the Raqqa Civil Council, about developments over the past two years. "We have implemented many projects in a short time," says al-Khalaf. "We have reached the participation of 10,000 people in the civil and social institutions of our council and created great trust in the population," continues Munir al-Khalaf.

More than 100,000 pupils returned to school

During four-year reign of ISIS terror, the children in Raqqa could not attend school. One of the biggest problems that civil society has faced over the past two years since the liberation was how to provide access to education and school for children, especially girls.

The Civil Council Education Committee restored 82 schools last year and provided access to education for more than 100,000 students. Al-Khalaf says 5,000 new teachers have been hired for this.

Economic projects

As a next step, the Civil Council is preparing projects to strengthen the economy in the city and promote agriculture with the goal of self-sufficiency. Al-Khalaf also announces the establishment of agricultural cooperatives. Accordingly, farmers will be supplied with fertilizer and other necessary resources and fuel, and twelve water works destroyed by the ISIS will be repaired.

Only limited possibilities

The Civil Council of Raqqa has many plans and tries to continue the projects started. But the limited opportunities present the biggest obstacle to the implementation of projects in the region.

The Council has reopened the old bridge of Raqqa and is about to complete the rebuilding of Al-Watani Hospital, reports al-Khalaf. The hospital should be put back into service within a few days.

In conclusion, al-Khalaf explains, "We are making great efforts to keep planning for next year. There has been massive looting of pipes and power lines. We will carry out work to cover the shortage of electricity, water and other basic needs. Since the waterworks are still out of service, we provide the population daily water. "