Syria crisis

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Millions of people urgently need help. 

The crisis in brief

The conflict in Syria since March 2011 has led to enormous suffering, with millions of Syrians forced to flee their homes. Today, Syria is the world's largest refugee crisis in decades. Acute poverty, COVID-19, drought, displacement and over 11 years of conflict are stretching the resilience and coping abilities of Syrians to the limit. 

In 2022, after 11 years of conflict:

  • An estimated 14.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, an increase of 1.2 million from 2021.  
  • Nearly 5 million children born in Syria since March 2011 have known nothing but conflict
  • The conflict has forced more than 13 million people to flee their homes. Around 6.7 million Syrians are internally displaced. Another 6.6 million are refugees worldwide, the majority of whom are hosted in neighbouring countries.  
  • An estimated 12.4 million people are food insecure. Nearly half a million children suffer from stunting and over 90,000 children from acute malnutrition.  
  • The price of the average food basket increased by 97% in December 2021 compared to December 2020. 
  • 90% of the population live below the poverty line with 67% requiring humanitarian assistance
  • In North-West Syria, 97% of the population live on less than $2 per day.  
  • Nearly half of health facilities have been destroyed and over 50% of healthcare workers are thought to have left the country.  
  • 50% of water and sanitation systems across Syria do not function properly. 

 

What CARE is doing

CARE has been working in Syria since 2013 and has reached more than 7.2 million people since the beginning of the crisis. We also support refugee families in neighbouring countries including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and those crossing into Europe. 

Working with local Syrian partners, we are delivering emergency assistance as well as longer-term support, including: 

  • Humanitarian assistance. We are providing shelter, clean water, nutritious food, cash support, sanitation facilities and protection services. 
  • Building resilience and providing livelihood opportunities. Our projects support people to restart their livelihoods and protect their existing assets to increase their resilience to absorb new shocks. 
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene. Projects include supporting communities with access to safe water and sanitation services. CARE hygiene promoters, based within the community, help raise awareness for public health risks and show good hygiene practices. 
  • Skills Development and Women’s Economic Empowerment. We support Syrian women and vulnerable families to become economically empowered and self-reliant. 
  • Protection. CARE integrates critical protection services, including psychosocial support to help people cope with the high and continuous levels of stress caused by poverty and war. 

Thanks to supporters like you, we are able to deliver both emergency and long-term assistance in Syria.

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Samah's story: Neonatal care in Syria (2022)

 Samah works as an incubator nurse at the Neonatal Unit in Al-Amal hospital, run by Violet, one of CARE’s Syrian partners in Northwest Syria.  

Amal's story: Building livelihoods in Syria (2022)

 Amal's story is one of resilience. Her parents made her leave school when she was in sixth grade. She now runs her own agricultural business and employs other women.

 

What about women and girls?

The crisis continues to have a gendered impact, with women and adolescent girls paying a high price due to harmful and discriminatory gender norms, prevailing and widespread gender-based violence (including early and forced marriages). 

Since the beginning of the conflict many men have died, disappeared, been forced to migrate or been injured during the war. 22% of Syrian households are now headed by women. Not only do women bear the burden of household responsibilities, but they also have an additional role to play: that of the ’providers’. 

As people’s options to survive diminish, families are making increasingly desperate choices. For many children, this means that they cannot continue their education, but instead are taken out of school to help contribute to the family income. For many girls, parents see child marriage as the only option to feed their children. 

 

Syria: 11 years of war. 11 years of lost childhood (2022)

  Amra is 11, and as old as the war in her home country of Syria. After many moves, Amra and her family are now in a displaced persons camp within Syria. This is her story.

 

Read the latest updates

  • See updates on our crisis watch page.
  • Read the latest stories from CARE’s work to support the Syrian people affected by the crisis.
  • Check our media releases page for the latest CARE statements and comments on the Syria crisis.

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