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Syrian Refugee Crisis

A young child affected by the Syrian refugee crisis sits in a tent with a striped blanket wrapped around them. Refugees in Syria struggle to access basic needs like food, shelter, and healthcare.

CARE / Shafak

CARE / Shafak


The ongoing armed conflict in Syria has left up to 13.5 million people, more than half of whom are children, in need of humanitarian aid.

About the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

Since 2011, intense fighting in Syria has forcibly displaced more people than any other country. At least 13 million – more than half the country’s population – remain displaced (in or outside Syria), are missing, or are in need of assistance. Over half of this 13 million are children.

More than half of Syria's population remain displaced, are missing, or are in need of aid.

CARE has reached more than 4.5 million people in Syria since 2014.

How many Syrians are refugees?

More than 5.6 million Syrians remain registered refugees in neighboring developing countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. More than 80 percent of Syrian refugees in the region live outside designated refugee camps. Instead, they live in urban areas among locals, usually in poor neighborhoods where they can afford the rent, adding to the already stretched infrastructures and putting more pressure on basic resources such as health and education. Having left everything behind, Syrian refugees are struggling to meet the most basic needs.

Additionally, the executive order banning Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. puts the lives of those fleeing conflict and persecution at immediate risk.

Large canvas tents sit in place on either side of a muddy road.
Ihsan Relief and Development / CARE

How to Help Syrian Refugees – What CARE is Doing

CARE supports vulnerable people caught in the conflict in Syria through the distribution of relief supplies such as food baskets, hygiene and baby kits, dignity kits for the elderly, and kitchen sets. During harsh winters, our partners have supported families with mattresses, blankets, floor covering, and children’s clothing. CARE’s partners also work with health clinics, providing primary care as well as maternal and reproductive health support for women to increase access to health care for Syrian communities affected by the conflict.

In such a protracted conflict, there is also an urgent need to rebuild livelihoods and encourage social cohesion and resilience to help people cope with a long-term crisis. Together with partners, CARE has developed programs that contribute to strengthening the resilience of communities affected by the crisis. This includes providing families with early recovery and livelihoods support, such as agricultural production, cash for work, women’s economic empowerment, microfinance, and psychosocial support programming. Additionally, CARE and its Syrian partner organizations provide access to clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene.

CARE works in the northern region of Syria, largely with partners. For the safety of our partners and staff, we do not disclose exact locations. CARE reached over 2.1 million people in Syria between July 2019 and June 2020.