Syria crisis

Syria Crisis: £22.50 could feed a family of 4 for a week

Syria is the most dangerous place in the world to be a civilian. Millions of people urgently need help.

The crisis in brief

What started four years ago as peaceful protests inspired by the Arab Spring has turned into the world's largest crisis during which over 200,000 people have died. Now in its fifth year, it has been described by the UN as 'biggest humanitarian emergency of our era'.

More than 12 million people inside Syria itself are in dire need of life-saving aid while over four million have fled the country to seek safety in the region.

Read more in our Syria regional crisis factsheet (Sept 2015)

Read the latest updates

Click here to read the latest stories from CARE’s work to support the Syrian people affected by the crisis.

What we are doing

We are working with international and local organisations, UN agencies and governments, to help people affected by the conflict. To date, we have reached more than 1,084,000 people in the region - including over 400,000 people in northern Syria.


Well over 3 million Syrians have registered as refugees across the region. It's estimated that the actual number of refugees has reached 4.5 million - meaning more than 1 in 5 Syrians has left the country, 75% of whom are women and children.

Sexual exploitation and violence has risen dramatically in the region.

Many families were forced to flee their homes with little or nothing at all. Significant numbers of refugees are living in crowded camps but 76% are in urban or rural areas where, with extremely limited resources, they face rising rent and living costs with no way of supporting their families.

This places severe stress on the governments and people of the countries they flee to. In Lebanon, the number of registered refugees has reached one million and amounts to a quarter of the population. The government of Jordan estimates that the country is hosting 1.4 million Syrian refugees - making them one-fifth of the population of the country.

Humanitarian organisations are also under pressure to provide food, shelter, health care, education and safety.

Our response

In Jordan, we've helped over 451,000 people, including 409,000 refugees and 42,000 host community members. We have supported the construction and the day-to-day running of community centres in Azraq refugee camp. Many refugees also live in crowded conditions in Jordan's towns and cities. We provide emergency cash assistance for refugees so they can pay for urgent basic needs. Most refugees use this support to pay for rent (50%), medication (26%) and food (17%).

“For refugees who have lost everything it is a matter of maintaining dignity by choosing and prioritising their specific needs themselves. It ensures that they do not fall deeper into poverty,” says Salam Kanaan, Country Director of CARE Jordan.

In Lebanon, over a million Syrians are registered as refugees. We've helped almost 159,000 people, providing hygiene kits and helping refugees access further health, legal and social support; installing water tanks; and working with municipalities to improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure for refugees as well as host communities.

In Egypt, we provide psychosocial assistance to women, men and children helping them to cope with their experience of violence, flight and loss of family and friends. We are also raising awareness among the refugees of sexual exploitation and other forms of gender-based violence to protect them from any form of abuse. In Eqypt CARE has so far helped over 10,400 people. 

In Turkey, we’ve helped over 35,000 people who have fled across the border from Kobane since September 2014, providing food, non-food items such as blankets, and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance.

In Northern Syria, we've reached almost 696,000 people with food, water, sanitation and hygiene support.

We have 170 volunteers in the region and work with five local partner organisations.


Futoon, 21, a volunteer in our refugee centre in Zarqa, Jordan, says: “Volunteering with CARE added a meaning to my life. CARE took my hand to overcome the obstacles and the loneliness while I am away from my country. I have the chance to be part of a solution and not only part of the suffering. Volunteering with CARE gives me happiness and satisfaction, because I can help my people. I can listen to them and try to ease their pains. I learnt a lot about the spirit of team work and what we can achieve together.”