Syria Crisis: 10 years

Asua lives in the economically deprived Bab al-Tabbaneh neighbourhood in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.

Originally from Homs, Asua’s economic circumstances have been worsened by COVID-19.
Photo: ©UNHCR / Diego Ibarra Sánchez

Families like Asua’s are trapped in extreme poverty, exhausted and traumatised by ten long years of upheaval. This situation is all too familiar for the more than 13 million displaced Syrians both inside Syria and around the world. Please help deliver relief to support them.

Cash Assistance

to help families cover basic survival costs like rent and medicine.

COVID-19 Response

to protect Syrian refugees and displaced people as well as their host communities.

Education

to keep children in school.

A decade later: what’s happening in Syria?

After 10 years of crisis, each day is harder than the last for most displaced Syrians. The crisis in Syria began in March 2011, forcing thousands of Syrians to flee – some to other parts in Syria, while others crossed the borders to neighbouring countries

UNHCR is leading a coordinated effort across the region to protect Syrians who have been forced to flee. This includes emergency relief and shelter for those escaping escalations and violence, and ongoing care such as education and healthcare.

Where are most refugees currently living?

There are now 6.6 million Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in the world, scattered in at least 130 countries. Over 5.6 million – four out of five of them – live in Syria’s neighbouring countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Furthermore, some 6.7 million Syrians remain displaced in their own country.

Turkey hosts the largest number of registered Syrian refugees – currently 3.7 million people. Neighbouring countries like Lebanon and Jordan have also seen a vast influx, as well as Egypt. Most displaced Syrian families are scattered across urban areas, struggling to survive. Many others have now been living in formal refugee camps for several years.

Why can’t more people return home?

It’s still very dangerous for families in Syria. Millions have lost their homes, communities and loved ones, so are often unwilling – or unable – to risk the journey back. In some areas, crisis has abated, but returns are not yet possible as buildings and utilities have been completely destroyed, and threats such as mines need to be cleared.

Why do we need public support?

After years of upheaval, many Syrians have long exhausted any precious savings they were able to take with them when fleeing. They are now trapped in extreme poverty. With more than 13 million Syrians displaced inside Syria and around the world, public support has never been more vital. Every donation helps a Syrian refugee survive, recover and take steps to rebuild their lives until they can return home safely.

How has COVID-19 impacted this crisis?

With the devastating impact of COVID-19, 2021 could prove to be the most difficult year for them so far. A lot of the past development and achievements to support refugees become self-reliant and facilitate their access to education, health and other services are at risk of being eroded.

Poverty is on the rise. Food insecurity is a growing threat. Access to education and health care have decreased. Protection risks, especially for the most vulnerable like women, children and the elderly, are increasing. And the COVID-19 pandemic is further exacerbating these challenges.

Where is UNHCR on the ground?

We’re working inside Syria and in neighbouring countries across the region – delivering life-saving humanitarian aid to displaced families and supporting the efforts of host countries.

Where can I access the latest data and reports?

Syrian Operations  – for latest on UNHCR’s relief work to protect displaced people inside Syria.

Syria Situation Portal – for latest updates on the crisis overall, including UNHCR situation reports, funding requirements and UNHCR’s support for neighbouring countries taking in refugees from Syrian refugees.

More than 70 percent of all Syrian refugees now live in poverty.

Mariam and her children fled their home when airstrikes destroyed their neighbourhood.

Her eldest son, Mohammad, was gravely injured during the shelling and paralysed. The family lost everything they owned and are now refugees in Jordan.

Support from UNHCR donors is funding survival cash assistance, which helps Mariam cover basics such as rent, food and school materials for her younger children.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

Mariam and her children fled their home when airstrikes destroyed their neighbourhood.

Her eldest son, Mohammad, was gravely injured during the shelling and paralysed. The family lost everything they owned and are now refugees in Jordan.

Support from UNHCR donors is funding survival cash assistance, which helps Mariam cover basics such as rent, food and school materials for her younger children.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

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