Country Portfolio Evaluation (CPE) Syria

November 2009
Document status:
Document type:
Evaluation number:
Evaluation type:
Country Portfolio Evaluation (CPE)
IEO grouping:
Corporate & Country
Full Report:
Related Brief:

Syria has been receiving GEF support since 1994 via regional and national projects, the majority of which are in biodiversity, alongside climate change, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and 1 multifocal project.  This is in addition to the GEF corporate Small Grants programme.  There are no projects combating land degradation in the country.  Syria was deemed a good choice for evaluation because it is eligible for an individual climate change allocation under the Resource Allocation Framework and also for a group allocation in biodiversity, and also because it has a relatively small GEF portfolio when compared with other countries in the region. Main findings and recommendations of the Syria Country Portfolio Evaluation were presented to the GEF Council as a part of the Annual Country Portfolio Evaluation Report 2009 (ACPER 2009).


  • GEF support to biodiversity has been successful in creating formal protection mechanisms and strengthening management systems.
  • GEF support has influenced national energy efficiency laws, however, there are no data on greenhouse gas emission reductions.
  • Results in other GEF focal areas are limited and involve establishing the foundations for national action plans and developing national capacity.
  • Sustainability over the long-term is a challenge.
  • National priorities such as inland international waters and land degradation have not been addressed.
  • SGP project outcomes are more likely to be sustained by local communities than outcomes from full or medium-sized projects.
  • Country ownership of GEF portfolio is stronger for national projects than regional and global ones.
  • National stakeholders perceive the GEF as too complicated and inefficient which is damaging to project proposals and implementation.
  • Syria has limited access to GEF investment agencies.
  • The GEF focal point is overly internalized within the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs and there is no clear mechanism for developing and improving GEF projects.


  • The GEF should increase funding for land degradation and water management issues.
  • The GEF should focus on countries with limited access to international finance institutions, like Syria.
  • The GEF should proactively create financial instruments and establishing appropriate frameworks to support sustainability of GEF projects.
  • A permanent GEF national coordination committee should be established in Syria.