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Humanitarian Interventions On Syria Conflict Assessment Answer

Memoranda to Cabinet Guidelines

Memoranda to Cabinet (MC) is a key instrument a government Minister uses to obtain the support of Cabinet for a proposed policy or course of action.

This assessment item requires you write a MC that makes the case for a humanitarian intervention in a contemporary conflict or potential conflict.

 Audience and Style

Imagine you are a senior public servant writing the MC for your Minster, who must pitch her argument to the Cabinet. The primary audience for an MC is the Cabinet, but further audiences would also include senior public servants and policymakers in various government departments and agencies. Writing to that type of audience requires you to present very complex issues concisely, using plain language, in a logical and persuasive form.

Focus on the larger, strategic considerations in each section; be careful with trivial minutiae. Think about the big-picture considerations and issues that senior policymakers in international development fields would need to consider. 

The precise processes and forms of cabinet memoranda and similar submissions vary significantly from state to state, country to country, and depend upon the nature and level of government involved. 


Key Terms were presented at the conclusion of each seminar. These terms should be the focus of your writing. 

The Structure 

For the purposes of this assessment item, your MC will include five sections. Please section your work as described, while maintaining a continual, coherent flow of logic.

1. Ministerial Recommendations (250 - 400 Words)

The Ministerial Recommendation outlines the ministers preferred option, worded in such a way that the cabinet can simply respond “yes” or “no”. This section explicitly advocates a course of action, arguing that it is the best solution/response to the challenge or opportunity identified. This section should fit easily on one A4 page, such that the salient points of the MC can be comprehended at a glance by the busiest of executives. This section should include:

1.1     Title: a 4 or 5 word description.

1.2     Issue: a one sentence summary of the question or statement to be considered by Cabinet. (aka ‘elevator pitch’.)

1.3     Background and  Rationale: one or two descriptive paragraphs that summarise the background and moral, political and legal arguments for the recommendation.

1.4     Recommendations: three to six dot points that are succinct statements of fact that detail the decision that is being sought. These might include proof of tyranny or anarchy, major manoeuvres or peacekeeping actions,  the major states, regions or actors involved.

2. The Nature of the Conflict (600-700 words)

This context analysis should consider relevant information in the arena of concern. Contemplate issues of state and sovereignty, politics, personalities, belligerents, recent history, geography and environment, natural and man-made disasters, regional affairs, resources, treaties and charters. Consider development, human and National Security. This might also include references to other analyses and reports. (Warning: A context analysis is not a history or geography lesson. All information must be immediately relevant to the actions being proposed. Population data and other statistics, geographical, natural and technical information can be included here, but in moderation.)

This should provide a sufficient body of knowledge that a Cabinet minister with no prior knowledge of the topic can garner sufficient intelligence and understanding to make an informed decision. Discuss the nature of the conflict and the risk to development. 

3. The case for the Humanitarian Intervention (600-700 Words)

3.1    What ethical, political, legal or state factors justify the HI?  Is there tyranny or anarchy? Consider historical precedent. Discuss the role of regional and international institutions, dialogue and treaties.

3.2     Risks and alternative views: what guidance does the Minister need to prepare for opposition to the intervention. What arguments will be made against the HI? What are the possible political, technical or ethical problems arising from implementing the recommendations and provide brief descriptions of how to handle them. 

Implications (600-700 Words)

4. Discuss issues associated with your recommendation 

4.1  Actors. Describe which government and government groups are involved? What departments or agencies within those governments. Consider the role of UN, security forces, NGOs, local communities. Are there key personalities?

4.2  Activities. Consider the implementation of the HI and the provision of peacekeeping, reconstruction, humanitarian aid and development assistance. 

4.3    Communications Plan: describe how the decision will be presented by the government and explained to the public both at home and abroad.  Is there politicisation or securitisation, or perceived neo-colonialism at play?

4.4     International Development: Discuss gender, health, education, finance and other international development activities as appropriate.

5.  Reference List ( Not included in word limit)

Your Memoranda to Cabinet must be fully cited using APA correctly and consistently, and should include a reference list at the end of all sources used, in alphabetical order by author surname. [There should be a range of sources, including academic journals and other scholarly works; reliable, trusted news media sites; and government and NGO reports.]


Humanitarian Interventions on the Syria Conflict

1. Ministerial Recommendations:

1.1 Title: 

Financial aid to Syria  

1.2 Issue: 

Almost 12 million Syrians are the verge of serious food scarce due to the 8-year long war and they need financial aid on an urgent basis to help the country alleviate the current situation.

1.3 Background and rationale: 

Since 2011, Syria is under constant civil war though the main sufferers are the innocent people, children and even infants. After an 8 year long war, the country is in the need of financial aid for helping the citizens to secure food. Almost 40% of the population spends 2/3 of their income in the food whereas 6.5 million are food insecure (Action Against Hunger, 2019). Australia as a first world country leading the global developments needs to provide their helping hand to the people of the war-torn country. This is not only a moral obligation but also an international political step that Australia can take with this aid. The donations and aids Australia provide each year to other countries is in the right proportion and therefore, some can be managed to help out the Syrians.

1.4 Recommendations: 

  • The United Nations has raised $7 billion from the donors to help the Syrians to secure food, shelter and medical care they need (Emott, 2019) 
  • European Union mobilised €194 million to help the Syrians with an additional €40 million to help people in their medical, food and other needs due to Coronavirus Pandemic (, 2020)
  • NGO’s like Oxfam are continually trying to raise money to help the Syrians from their current pathetic situation 
  • Australian government agencies including the Ministry of Home Affairs and Trade and the Australian Aid can be included as important actors in this humanitarian aid

2. Nature of the Conflict: 

More than 250000 Syrians have lost their lives in the armed conflict, which was begun as the anti-government protest before the rise of a full-scale civil war. The pro-democracy protest erupted in the year of 2011 in Deraa after the torture and the arrest of teenagers who have painted revolutionary slogans (Rodgers, Gritten, Offer & Asare, 2016). The security forces opened fire on the demonstrators and then killing several people. After this incident, people in the entire nation demanded the resignation of President Assad but the government has used the power and crush the protest. After that, the violence has been escalated and the rebel brigade was formed for battle so that they can control towns, cities and countryside. After that, the fighting reached the capital of Syria (Rodgers, Gritten, Offer & Asare, 2016). According to the calculation of the UN, in the year of 2013, there were 90000 people who have been killed. By August 2015, the figure has become increased to 2500000 (CNN, 2020). After that, the conflict has become more than a battle against the people who care for and against the presidents. The conflict has also been started against the Sunni and Shia. The enquiry of UN commission has evidence the fact that all the parties that have taken part in the conflict are committed in the war. Even chemical weapon was applied in the year of 2013. A rocket filled with the nerve agent was fired at Damascus that has killed so many children, women even infant.

Most of the Syrian children and their families are living in areas where different basic services such as food and shelter are almost non-existent. The basic infrastructure such as education, healthcare, hygiene and water-related services are not present in most of the place in Syria (Help Children in Syria, 2020). There are at least 5 million children who are in need of basic humanitarian assistance. There is a 76% population who have been forcibly displaced due to the conflict (Help Children in Syria, 2020). there are 28% of children in Syria who are facing malnutrition. 41% of children are out of their school. 82% of the people in Syria are currently living in poverty.

Presently, when the war situation most people cannot get the necessary food and shelter. As part of the crisis, 4.5 million people have fled Syria and most of them are women and children. The neighbour country Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey is facing issues in coping with the refugee exoduses. Among the entire Syrian population, 10% of the Syrian refugee has gained safety in Europe (Kenneth, 2020). 6.5 million People are there who are internally displaced and 1.2 million people are there who were driven from home. According to the UN, Syria requires almost $3.2 billion so that it can help almost 13.5 million people. The USA has declared to offer $696 million to Syria (Donmez, 2020). Iran and Syria have developed close strategic allies. Iran has provided various technical supports to Syria along with that they have also supplied some combat troops along with $9 billion financial supports. There are so many countries like China, UN countries, and the USA that offers helps to Syria. However, this help is not sufficient as they require financial help to run their everyday life. it is not easy to acquire fund that can help an entire country in maintaining their everyday life for a long time (Kenneth, 2020). This is because; there is no sign of a solution in the present time. Though most of the countries are trying to cope up with the solution but Syria are not taking the suggestion in most of the cases.

Presently Syria has lost their basic human rights. the basic human rights of people are accessing sufficient food and shelters, getting freedom from expression, opinion and torture and gaining necessary education and work. However, it has been observed that people in Syria do not have the rights to the above-mentioned things (CNN, 2020). Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be said that the present help to Syria is not sufficient so that it is important for Australia to help Syria. In the present time, Syria's conflict has entered their tenth year; therefore, support from Australia is necessary for helping the children and offering basic amenities to the refugee. By participating in helping Syria, Australia can help more than 3 million people among which 2.1 million people are children (CNN, 2020). As a developed country, Australia has helped the different country in different incidents. Therefore, Australia must help Syria to reduce the impact of war and access basic things to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

3. The Case for the Humanitarian Intervention: 

3.1 Ethical, legal, political or state factors in justifying the HI and the role of regional and international institutions, dialogues and treaties: 

Human suffering is the most intense kind of suffering. The loss of life due to wars brings this intense suffering to not only the military personnel who are fighting the war but the innocent people who come in between the war. The same case is for the Syrian people who are just dogged in the war that continued for 8 years. According to the utilitarianism concept of ethics, an action that brings the greatest good is expected Einarsdóttir & Gunnlaugsson (2016). In line with this ethical concept, the Australian government should also focus on the greatest good by providing financial aid. Similarly, from a moral point of view, it is necessary to alleviate human suffering.

However, there are no legal aspects related to the humanitarian aid recommended though politically, Australia can get a better image in the international political arena. Every country including the USA who were engaged in military interventions in Syria has started to provide financial aid through its USAID agency (UNAID, 2020). Australia even if not able to contribute in that high manner as done by the US, but can contribute marginally well which will contribute to its image in international politics.

Role of Regional and International Institutions: 

There are a number of regional and international institutions that are engaged in the humanitarian works in Syria. The largest contributor of this is the United Nations who with its 8 agencies including UNRWA and UNHCR started humanitarian aids since 2012 through an agreement between the Syrian government and the UN. However, there were many other international NGO’s including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who have contributed to the peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Syria and are continually doing the same (Svoboda & Pantulian, 2015). They have been able to provide help to millions of Syrians through medical care, healthcare and food. Other NGO's like Oxfam have also started to contribute to Syria.

The Syrian Arab Republic, The European Nations and the neighbouring countries like Egypt, Turkey have acted as regional actors that have helped in providing financial aid as well as a refugee to many Syrians to help them in the crisis. However, even after the efforts made from both regional and international institutions in providing financial and humanitarian aids and refugee by neighbouring countries, there are still millions of people in need and therefore, there is a need for countries like Australia to come out strong in helping to alleviate the human sufferings. 

3.2 Risks and alternative views: 

The minister would need to create a series of paper that includes facts and figures containing the need for financial assistance towards Syria. 

The main arguments that may arise from the Humanitarian argument would relate its relevance towards further financial assistance where the country already provides financial aid to Syria through different means. 

The main political problem that would arise is related to possible conflicts with other alliance countries like the USA. The main technical problem may be related to the proper disbursement of the financial aid to the needy people as due to corruption in between the actual people in need do not get the help they require. The main ethical problem would be related to the increasing rate of homelessness and poverty in Australia. According to Henrique-Gomes (2020), one in eight people in Australia is living under the internationally accepted poverty line whereas 700,000 children are under the poverty line. This means that whereas Australia is itself is reeling under increased poverty, is there any need for providing financial assistance to other countries or to increase financial assistance when a relative amount is already in place?

The answer to this question may be given by referring to the financial aid Australia receives every year and the amount spends in foreign financial aid. In reality, Australia spends just 0.21% of its national gross income in foreign aid amounting to only $4.044 billion, which is lower than other developed countries (Worldvision, 2020). Therefore, there is a need to increase financial aid for the sake of humanity.

4. Implications: 

4.1 Actors: 

The current government in power in Australia will need to be involved in providing aid. The main government group is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be responsible for delivering the aid. Further, the Australian Aid will also need to be involved in this financial aid delivering process (DFAT, 2020). 

The Australian government agencies like the Australia Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will need to collaborate with the UN agencies to provide their support. The local communities including those who are in the continuous process to improve the situation of Syrian people need to be reached and partnered to provide financial aid for food security. There can also be Memorandum of Understanding between the Syrian Government and the Australian government regarding the financial aid provided and its fair use in alleviating the food security issue of the Syrian people. 

4.2 Activities: 

The financial aid as recommended in the ministerial recommendation is mainly for resolving the food security issue of the Syrians as almost 12 million people in Syria are under high threat of food insecurity. However, the financial aid will also need to be used in other activities including reconstruction of the damaged households and medical and healthcare activities. In order to do so, as outlined in the previous section, the concerned authority of Australia needs to collaborate with both the international and regional institutions and NGO's to deliver their support for fair and proper use. This will help in improving the reconstruction of Syrian society. Even though it will be a small effort, but this type of small efforts will help in resolving this major conflict from the support of global bodies and local and regional organisations.

4.3 Communication Plan: 

There are almost 604200 people in Australia who identify themselves as Muslims from whom half of them identify themselves as Shia and Sunni. They constitute to 2.6% of the total population in Australia (Hempenstall, 2019). Australia is a multicultural country and therefore, people from different faiths live there in Harmony. However, keeping in mind the number of the Muslim population, there is certainly a politicisation of religion in regards to the decision sought on financial relief towards Syria. However, as argued by Parvez (2017), politicisation mainly occurs when it can impact on the vote bank. Keeping this argument in mind, the 2.6% population who identify themselves cannot justify the decision sought as the politicisation of religion, rather can be identified as a neo-colonialism. According to Hickey (2020), neo-colonialism is a practice where governments of developed countries make use of financial aid, globalisation and conditional aid to influence a developing country. Then again, this neo-colonialism concept can also be discarded as the current political, social, economic and infrastructure of Syria is not in terms of any financial gains in the long term. Moreover, other countries, especially the United States of America are already in the pursuit of neo-liberalism in Syria. Therefore, the decision sought on financial aid to Syria can only be taken as a moral and ethical obligation to alleviate the human sufferings. 

This aspect can be taken while communicating with the public. The Australian government need to convey this perspective in the parliament session and through promotions within the country. In the case of communicating abroad, this needs to be conveyed through dialogue and the actions that the country will take towards Syria in terms of financial aid.

4.4 International Development: 

The decision to provide financial aid to Syria in the current crisis situation will not only help the betterment of food security for the people struggling to get 2 times proper meals but can also lead to the proper development of education, health and gender equity. Currently, the widowed single females are the main bread earners in Syria and therefore, the financial aid to them would help them to establish small scale industrial activities. The improve financial and food security would ensure small children would not need to go out for earning their bread and butter and therefore would help in improving the education. Improved education will lead to improved health and hygiene.  

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