The Syrian conflict began in March 2011. With a pre-war population of 22 million people, over 6.6 million people have fled across national borders as refugees, mostly in countries near Syria. A further 6.7 million Syrians are also internally displaced, including 2.5 million children.
In early 2020, hostilities in the Northwest of the country, where Christian Aid is working, displaced around 1 million people. This was the largest displacement since the conflict began.
Over eleven years on, as Syrian government troops, armed opposition groups, and international forces battle for power and territory, the lives and wellbeing of women, men and children in Syria continue to be threatened.
Nine in 10 Syrians now live in poverty, with 60 per cent of the population at risk of going hungry this year — the highest number ever in the history of the Syrian conflict. A generation of Syria’s children have also never lived a day without war. Nearly 2.5 million children are out of school across Syria, with 1.6 million more at risk of dropping out. The COVID-19 pandemic, ripple effects from the conflict in Ukraine, and economic crisis have only compounded this already dire humanitarian situation.
In Syria we work on...
With increasing insecurity, violence and displacement, we are continuing to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations inside Syria. Our partners distribute essential items including cash assistance, food, hygiene kits and blankets and mattresses.
Escalations in violence can also lead to terrible effects on our local partner staff, as many are themselves from the communities with which they work. Christian Aid takes our duty of care to our partners very seriously and has responded through supporting partners with things like staff evacuation within Syria.
Education and Resilience
Through a four-and-a-half year project funded by the European Union (EU), Christian Aid worked with a partner in several locations in Syria to implement an education and resilience project.
The project seeks to ensure young people affected by the conflict can access education and training to help transform their lives, reduce their vulnerability to joining armed groups, and support peaceful, cohesive communities. Christian Aid has continued to fund this area of work following the end of EU funding.
During the escalation in violence in Northwest Syria in early 2020, many fled their homes without any belongings during the harsh winter months. Through our partner we helped reduce the vulnerability of more than 3,000 families, by providing kits consisting of mattresses, pillows, blankets and carpets to displaced families in camps.
Staff from one of our local partners were also displaced multiple times during this period. Christian Aid therefore supported staff members and their families through providing rent, furniture, kitchen supplies, and food.
To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Christian Aid supported a partner to distribute more than 8,000 hygiene kits and conduct awareness raising in camps in Northwest Syria. We also supported 7,508 people with food baskets.
Education and Resilience
Through an EU-funded project, “Creating Alternative Futures: education Syrian adolescents”, a partner set up four community centres in Northwest Syria. These centres provide safe spaces and improve the skills, resilience and social inclusion of young people through education, vocational training, psychosocial support and community involvement.
Through this same project, young people were trained in disaster response, first aid and COVID-19 protocols. Three local volunteer first response committees have been established following the training. They are conducting awareness raising in communities on proper handwashing, as well as sanitising tents and public spaces.
To date, we’ve supported 27,804 people (50.4% were women) through this area of work.
Read about how our (now-closed) appeal enabled our local partners to support vulnerable refugees in Syria and Lebanon. You can still give to support our ongoing work around the world.