Syria, once a popular tourist destination, is now one of the most dangerous places in the world. The uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which began in early 2011, quickly turned into a brutal civil war that has killed civilians on a horrendous scale and forced millions of people from their homes. People in Need was one of the first international humanitarian organisations to respond to the crisis in Syria, starting operations there in 2012. We currently reach an average of 230,000 people each month, through a range of interventions.
Even after many years of war, the security situation in Northern Syria has yet to stabilise. One in every two people have fled their homes, 50% of basic infrastructure in the country is no longer functional, and five million people are relying on humanitarian aid as a “critical” lifeline. Market prices have soared, people are out of work and the country has been looted and laid to waste. One in two people have been forced to leave their homes, many of whom no longer have access to basic food items, drinking water, shelter, education or employment opportunities. Even for those who have remained in their homes, the long-term loss of job opportunities has been devastating, and the continuous fighting and bombing has visibly damaged the local infrastructure.
In Syria we distribute basic food items and food vouchers to those most in need, and provide emergency hygiene kits to displaced families. We help out in schools by supporting local teachers, students and their parents; we strive to improve the quality of lessons; and we ensure psychosocial support to help conflict-affected children and their families build their resilience. We support agriculture and the restoration of additional sources of livelihoods, including public work opportunities (e.g., cash for work). We repair public water wells and networks, rehabilitate and extend sewage systems, and build landfills. The purpose of our efforts is to provide long-term, sustainable assistance and to help the local community to be able to cope with the effects of the conflict on their own.