The Syria crisis: Seven years on - UNHCR

The Syria crisis: Seven years on

Seven ways you’re helping Syrian families

Headlines about the Syria crisis don’t often reveal the ongoing challenges of families forced to flee. Today, more than five and a half million refugees across the region are still living in exile, facing increasingly desperate conditions. Most live below the poverty line, sometimes struggling to feed and shelter their families while crippled by rising debt. Women and children account for approximately 70 percent of the refugees most in need of assistance.

Thanks to your donations, UNHCR is on the ground helping Syrian families displaced within their country or beyond its borders as they do their best to move forward and rebuild their lives. None of this would be possible without caring people like you, helping those who’ve endured so much. Their resilience – and your generosity – are truly inspiring. Here are seven ways you’ve helped Syrian families this past year.

  • 1- You sheltered families forced to flee their homes

    This winter, in Jordan – through your donations – we provided over 24,000 vulnerable Syrian refugee families in camps with cash assistance and supplies to equip their shelters for the coldest months. Inside Syria, UNHCR is leading efforts to shelter displaced families, from renovating houses and collective shelters to providing emergency tents when other options are not available. Through the support of generous donors like you, UNHCR provided emergency shelter to nearly 32,000 people displaced in Syria by mid-2017 alone.
    Just $15 is enough to buy a tarpaulin to help waterproof a roof or give supplies for an emergency shelter in Syria.

  • 2- You provided direct cash assistance to help families cover their most immediate needs

    After as many as seven years in exile – often far from the homes they left behind – any savings that families managed to bring with them have been exhausted. One in five refugees registered with UNHCR in Jordan relies on cash assistance to help with the costs of essential needs, such as food and shelter. Thanks to you, nearly 30,000 Syrian refugee families received cash grants in December 2017.
    Only around $45 could help a Syrian family of five living outside camps in Jordan for a week.

  • 3- You helped give displaced Syrians access to health care

    Thanks to the support of generous donors like you, UNHCR and its partners work to protect the health and well-being of Syrian refugees. In Egypt, for example, you helped UNHCR support more than 60,000 primary health care consultations and over 6,600 referrals to secondary health care for Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers in 2017. More than half of all refugees and asylum-seekers in Egypt are from Syria. We also helped strengthen and equip existing national health systems, focusing on 15 facilities in areas where many refugees live.
    Just $21 can help support access to vital healthcare for a person trapped inside Syria.

  • 4- You helped protect the most vulnerable

    UNHCR teams work at the community level to ensure that the needs of refugee and displaced communities are understood and met. Inside Syria, UNHCR takes the lead on protection and community services, helping vulnerable people access critical services, including psychosocial support and legal aid – like registering the birth of a child or replacing key documents lost or left behind when people had to flee. In 2017, we reached some 2.6 million vulnerable people in Syria with protection and community services – thanks to caring and committed donors like you.
    It only costs about $15 to register a Syrian refugee in Lebanon, helping to protect their rights and giving them access to vital services.

  • 5- You gave essential supplies to those most in needs

    Warm blankets. Sleeping mats. Jerry cans for water. When you’ve been forced to flee home with nothing but the clothes on your back, basic supplies like these give more than protection, they give comfort. In 2017, you helped UNHCR reach over three million people displaced inside Syria with much-needed items like these – even in hard-to-reach areas. Each family kit contains five blankets, three mattresses and sleeping mats, two jerry cans, a kitchen set, a plastic sheet and a solar lamp. During the winter, to help families survive the coldest months, we adapt this kit to include extra plastic sheeting and winter clothing.
    Just $20 can provide fleece blankets to keep two refugees warm at night.

  • 6- You gave young Syrians a chance to learn

    For Syrian children forced to flee home, education provides stability and security when everything else in their lives feels like it’s fallen apart. Some may have missed years of school before fleeing or have never even been to school. Offering Syrian refugees the opportunity to learn gives them a chance at a better future. In Lebanon, your donations allowed UNHCR to help nearly 40,000 Syrian refugee children enroll in primary education by mid-2017 alone. With partners, we also introduced over 300 homework support groups – in tents, shelters, living rooms, community centres, and even outdoors – to help students keep up in school.
    Just $42 is enough to send a child displaced in Syria to a primary school accelerated learning programme

  • 7- You helped people learn skills to earn a living and support their families

    Imagine surviving a deadly conflict only to be unable to meet your family’s most basic needs. Helping displaced Syrians get the chance to work and meet these needs is a key part of empowering them to rebuild their lives in dignity. That’s why, with your support, UNHCR helps people displaced in Syria improve their situation by offering training, small business grants and livelihood kits (including plumbing, carpentry or hairdressing kits). Together, in the first six months of 2017, we gave some 1,000 people inside Syria small grants to start up new businesses, while providing life skills training to over 19,000 individuals.

It costs $57 to support a Syrian refugee with training/livelihood activities in Egypt for one year.

“Ultimately, Syria’s conflict isn’t about numbers – it’s about people. Families have been torn apart, innocent civilians killed, houses destroyed, businesses and livelihoods shattered.” Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

How you helped people displaced in Syria in 2017

Since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, over half of the country’s population has been forced to flee their homes. Most seek refuge elsewhere in the country, if they can. Seven years into the crisis, UNHCR teams are still on the ground day in and day out, helping to identify and assist those most in need. We are the primary UN agency leading on protection and community services, shelter and the distribution of essential relief items inside Syria. We couldn’t do it without the donations of caring people like you. Here is a snapshot of what you’ve made possible this past year: