Syrian Refugee Crisis
As the war in Syria approaches its third anniversary the death toll has passed 110,000 people. More than 2.2 million Syrians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, and over half of them are children.
How you can help:
Donate: Syrian Refugee Crisis
What's happening now?
For almost three years a civil war has raged in Syria. Since it started more than 110,000 people have lost their lives, including at least 11,000 children.
Inside Syria, 6.5 million people have been displaced by fighting, and 9.3 million are in need. The conditions in Syria are so bad more than 2.2 million people have fled to neighbouring countries.
Lebanon and Jordan are carrying the brunt of the refugee burden, and the numbers are straining the already limited resources of both countries.
Refugees bring with them horrifying stories of what they witnesses before leaving their home country, including reports of violence, rape and chemical weapon attacks.
From the comfortable homes they enjoyed in Syria before the conflict started, refugees are often finding themselves living in refugee camps, or impoverished host communities. It is difficult for Syrian children to get access to school places, and their parents struggle to find work.
It is a challenge for families to find everday basics: food, water, blankets and healthcare. But thanks to people like you, World Vision is able to offer help and support to those who need it so badly.
Neighbouring countries are feeling the pressure of thousands of refugees crossing the border daily.
Life in a refugee camp - Tim Costello visits Lebanon
World Vision CEO Tim Costello's heart breaks for the children and families who've fled the violence Syria. Now they face a life of uncertainty in a refugee camp in Lebanon, living in tents that are cold in the winter and baking hot in the summer. Many of the children, desperate for an education, haven't been to school in months.
30 second snapshot: Hamze's story
Hamze, 11, fled Syria with his family and now lives in Lebanon. He misses home, his friends, and the life he used to have before the war. This is a short, heartbreaking account of Hamze's story - more than half of the refugees fleeing Syria are children.
World Vision's response
We aim to assist 363,780 Syrian’s displaced both within Syria and also across the border in Jordan and Lebanon. Our aim is provide what is most needed where most needed, all with the aim to ease suffering and provide access to basic needs such as clean water and shelter.
- Working with other aid agencies to create the Azraq camp in Jordan, which will provide a place to live for more than 110,000 refugees who have fled violence in Syria. The camp is planned to open in the coming months. Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, World Vision was able to commit to the water, health and sanitation element of the camp. So far we've installed 12 kilometres of pipes which will supply 31,000 refugees with water, installed taps and water tanks amongst various other things involved in this part of the project.
- World Vision is also providing urgent assistance to the existing Za'atari camp to help with the urgent need for nappies and hygiene kits. We have distributed enough to help 17,000 babies and mothers in dire need of assistance.
- We are facilitating catch-up classes in Irbid; assisting with the change from Syrian to Jordanian curriculum.
- Also, we are working towards the creation of 4 child friendly spaces and water and sanitation rehabilitation for 50 schools, aiming to reach more than 63,000 children.
- Thanks to people like you , we have been able to help some of the people who are displaced within Syria with access to clean water via the installation of four water pumps, providing approx. 70,000 people with new-found access to clean water. We have also constructed and redeveloped some existing toilet blocks, and set up some health clinics especially for women.
- In Lebanon, we have been working with the UN World Food Programme that enable the purchase of food items in local shops, to contribute to the local economy.
- Operating Child Friendly Spaces to provide refugee children with social and emotional support and a safe environment to play and learn.
- Supporting children aged 9-14 years with daily catch-up classes and a fast-track learning program so they can keep up with their education
Improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene within camps.
- In the cooler months distributing blankets, warm clothing, and fuel for heating and cooking. We have also distributed personal hygiene kits.
As of September 3rd 2013, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, reported that the total number of refugees has exceeded 2 million. Lebanon is recorded as hosting 718,184 Syrian refugees and Jordan 519,676. As a result of the influx Syrian refugees now make up more than 12 percent of the population of Lebanon and have increased Jordan’s population by more than seven percent. These figures are rising daily - the UNHCR has the most recent numbers.
Sadly, more than 1 million of these refugees are children.
With no immediate end to the conflict in sight, the children face months of uncertainty in temporary housing and not knowing if they might ever return to school and a normal life.
How you can help
To donate to the Syrian Refugee Crisis Response give online or call 13 32 40. Funds raised will go toward helping Syrian refugees – for example, enabling us to set up the refugee camp in Azraq, as well as helping others in need in Syria, Lebanon and other areas of Jordan.
As the crisis in Syria worsens, Tim Costello and Hamish Macdonald visit a refugee camp in Jordan to see things first hand. “I'm talking pain, I'm not talking about politics. Because it was my house that was destroyed, and now I'm the one who is a refugee" says one distraught female refugee.