Syrian Crisis

For many Syrian children, all they have known is war and hardship. Nine years on, their lives continue to be torn apart as the conflict reaches a whole new frightening level in the northern regions of Syria.
Give now to Syria's children

Syria’s children are growing up in the midst of the most significant humanitarian crisis in living memory. We urgently need your help to protect their lives, their childhoods and their futures.

Conflict in Idlib, north-west Syria

Idlib, in north-west Syria is now seeing the worst humanitarian crisis in the nine years of Syria’s conflict. North-west Syria is home to over 3 million people and most of them have been forced from their homes at least once, to seek safety.

Hundreds of thousands of people are now living without access to basic necessities in temporary settlements; it’s a bitterly cold winter and with no proper shelter a number of children have frozen to death.

Dozens more children have been killed in airstrikes, some on schools and hospitals.

World Vision is working with partners in Syria to save lives and alleviate the suffering of those affected by the escalation in violence. Our focus is on the most vulnerable - particularly children and women.

The Syrian crisis is overwhelming, but beyond the life-shattering horror, there is a simple truth; the children of Syria desperately need your support!

The violence and destruction continues to escalate in north-east Syria

The violence and destruction continues to escalate in north-east Syria

Photograph source: Rodi Said/Reuters

Children and families safety is threatened in north-east Syria following an increase in violence in the area. 

Almost half a million people are at serious risk of death, injury and being forced from their homes. Many families in the area have already been forced to flee their homes multiple times, and this latest escalation in the conflict is devastating the lives of children once again.

This latest outburst of violence highlights again the ongoing needs of children who have, and are being displaced throughout Syria. We urgently need your help to rebuild their lives through mental health support, psycho-social support and education. 

Important, life-giving work that must continue

Important, life-giving work that must continue

We work in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and northern Syria to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Syrians and communities hosting Syrian refugees.

We are working alongside families, providing life-saving essentials like clean water, food, healthcare and shelter.

Children have lost their homes, loved ones and everything familiar to them. For their parents, fleeing their home has been the toughest decision they’ve ever had to make. But bombs, snipers and torture made it too dangerous to stay. They escaped the war to protect their families, but life is now a daily struggle for survival.

This is important, life-giving work that must continue, but today it’s under threat. After years of war in Syria, the world’s attention is drifting, and donations for our work here are reducing dramatically. Your support is more important than ever.​

We’re doing whatever it takes to save lives and protect children. But we need your help to reach more. You can be there for children whose lives have been shattered by conflict.

refugees have crossed international borders and remain in neighbouring countries, another 6.2M are displaced within Syria.
Syrian refugees make up about one-sixth of Lebanon’s population. Many living in primitive conditions in informal tent settlements.
of children in Syria are out of school, and 80% of the population lives in poverty.

For many Syrian refugee children, all they have known is war and hardship

For many Syrian refugee children, all they have known is war and hardship

At just two years of age Muhammad’s life has been one of loss and upheaval.  When Muhammad was born there was no time for joy and celebration for his parents, just fear and anxiety as they fled for their lives. Muhammad was just a few hours old when bombs hit his village.

In the past two years, the war has forced them to flee time and time again, losing everything they own. Each day now is a struggle to find food, clean water and safety.

As his family struggles to stay together and survive, Muhammad has retreated into his own world; unable to express emotion. Concerned for his wellbeing, Muhammad's family brought him to the World Vision relief and development centre. Huda (pictured left) began helping him with his emotional and physical needs and worked with his parents to support them in the journey to recovery. 


Fighting has increased since early October and this has put almost half a million people living in the area at heightened risk. There have already been civilian deaths and these people are at risk of death or injury if they don’t leave their homes. Many have already been forced from their homes elsewhere in the country, some more than once.

There are at least 1,650,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance in north-east Syria. Humanitarian work assisting them is under threat from this latest fighting. Half a million people live close to the conflict zone, near the Turkish border, and are in great danger. Many of them have already been forced from their homes and could be displaced again as Syria’s war continues.

World Vision is urging parties to the conflict to protect civilians and facilitate safe access for aid agencies. The international community, including the UN Security Council, must urge restraint and facilitate continued vital humanitarian access. 
World Vision is not allowed to work directly in Syria. But we are supporting partner organisations in northern Syria who are providing emergency relief and running programmes in focused on healthcare, water, sanitation and child protection/psychosocial support. They are distributing things displaced people need the most including; water purification tablets, hygiene and cooking kits, fuel, blankets and bedding. They’re also helping deploy mobile medical units, bringing vaccinations, medicine and specialist help to the many pregnant women and new mothers.
Idlib is facing a major humanitarian crisis, after the conflict intensified around the end of April 2019. The bombing has forced hundreds of thousands of people living in the Idlib region to leave their homes in search of safety. Most are now living in tents in informal camps, where conditions are terrible. 
No. In Jordan, the overwhelming majority of refugees live in host communities, staying with other families or rental accommodation. There are approximately 670,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, 120,000 live in refugee camps, including Za’atari and Azraq, where aid groups have converted desert wastes into cities.

In Lebanon, there are no official refugee camps. The 950,000 Syrian refugees make up about one-sixth of Lebanon’s population. Many live in primitive conditions in informal tent settlements, which are not official refugee camps. With few legal income opportunities, they struggle to afford residency fees, rent, utilities, and food.

There are 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Approximately 90% of Syrian refugees in Turkey live outside of camps and have limited access to basic services.

The 250,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq are concentrated in the Kurdistan region in the north where more than a million Iraqis fled to escape ISIL. Most refugees are integrated into communities but the large number of newcomers puts a strain on services.
In Lebanon, there are no official refugee camps, though there are scattered camp-like informal settlements. This makes emergency response difficult and many refugees are falling through the cracks. These settlements generally lack proper hygiene and other measures needed to protect the health of the most vulnerable, including children. Children cannot rely on the usual protection mechanisms and are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Winter conditions present extra challenges for already vulnerable children and families. 

The most populace refugee camp in Jordan is Za’atari, close to the northern border with Syria. It is home to around 80,000 people. The camp is hot and dusty in summer and cold in winter, it is no place for children, despite the best efforts of authorities, the UN and humanitarian agencies. Some children are not in school and wander around refugee camps during the day and night, which leaves them very vulnerable. 

Diseases and malnutrition: Children are susceptible to ailments brought on by poor sanitation, including diarrheal diseases like cholera. They may miss vaccinations and regular health checkups, especially in cut-off areas. In poor housing, cold weather increases the risk of pneumonia and other respiratory infections.

Child labor and child soldiers: Many refugee children have to work to support their families. Often they work in dangerous or demeaning circumstances for little pay. Warring parties forcibly recruit children who serve as fighters, human shields, and in support roles, according to the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report.

Child marriage and abuse: Children are more vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation in the unfamiliar and overcrowded conditions found in camps and informal tent settlements. Without adequate income to support their families and fearful of their daughters being molested, parents may opt to arrange a marriage for girls, some as young as 13.

Lack of education opportunities: Forty percent of Syrian refugee children are out of school. In Syria, the war reversed two decades of educational progress. One-third of schools are not having classes because they have been damaged, destroyed, or occupied by military groups or displaced people.
In 2018, our Syria Crisis Response team contributed to the well-being of over 2.2 million people, in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey. Just over 1.3 million of these were children.

Lebanon: World Vision’s response has helped 202,600 people, through running informal education to help children re-enter school, providing water, sanitation and hygiene in schools, creating child friendly spaces, and providing cash and food assistance to refugees.

Jordan: Some 188,316 people in Jordan have been able to settle into their changed lives, with a strong emphasis on child protection, schools, household financial support, and education opportunities.  We have also been providing water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure in camps, and alternative learning and psychosocial support for children of all backgrounds. 

Syria: Over 852,000 people have been supported through sustainable water and sanitation solutions, psychosocial support for children, household and winter items, a new school and filling gaps in fractured health-care. 

Turkey: World Vision helped 47,000 with protection across the border and non-formal education.

Iraq: Over 937,000 people in Iraq were supported with access health, water, hygiene, learning opportunities, with an emphasis on safe and food-secure living conditions.

We ensure all resources entrusted to us are used effectively to bring maximum impact.



As part of an international partnership working in nearly 100 countries, World Vision New Zealand pursues the highest standards of stewardship and accountability.

In 2019, 83.3% of World Vision New Zealand's total operating expenses were used for international program support that benefited children, families and communities in need. Learn more about our impact.
The children of Syria desperately need your support, our important, life-giving work must continue