Support the most urgent humanitarian emergency of our time

Help provide families displaced by the conflict in the Middle East with life-saving aid

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This is a children’s crisis

Syrian Refugee Crisis

This is a children’s crisis

They have seen family members killed, their homes destroyed and approximately 2.3 million children are now living as refugees in neighbouring countries. Many children are no longer in education, boys are forced to work to provide for their families, and girls, forced into marriage for their own protection. And now many face freezing conditions in makeshift tents.

Each day the needs are growing. 

Aleppo: A crisis within a crisis

Aleppo: A crisis within a crisis

“The children of Syria have experienced more hardship, devastation, and violence than any child should have to in a thousand lifetimes,” says Dr. Christine Latif, World Vision’s response manager.

A ‘crisis within a crisis’ is unfolding in the countryside outside Aleppo, as those who fled the city face increasingly dire conditions. Our team is distributing blankets, mattresses and heaters with kerosene to help people through the winter.

But conditions are cramped, temperatures have plummeted, tents do not provide adequate shelter from the conditions and the risk of shelling remains.

Support the most urgent humanitarian crisis of our time

can provide families with mattresses and blankets

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62

can provide two villages with water pumps

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100

can provide a family with food for a month

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187

can provide a child with a safe learning space

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750

Syrian refugee crisis: What you need to know

  • 13.5 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance due to a violent civil war that began in 2011.
 
  • 4.8 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.1 million are displaced within Syria; half of those affected are children.
 
  • Children affected by the Syrian conflict are at risk of becoming ill, malnourished, abused, or exploited. Millions have been forced to quit school. 
 
  • Most Syrian refugees remain in the Middle East, in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt; only 11% percent of the refugees have fled to Europe.
 
  • Peace negotiations continue despite a fraying ceasefire.

Our response

Our response

Right now, World Vision has staff on the ground in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. We are responding to the influx of people from Aleppo with winter supplies, safe water, health clinics, heating fuel and child friendly learning spaces, where children can meet, share, learn, and receive emotional support.

We are already providing services to hundreds of thousands of displaced people across Northern Syria, through water trucking, water systems, and toilets and showers. We are also building a new hospital, and providing medical equipment and supplies.

With your help, we can continue to provide winter supplies, clean water and sanitation services, food and emergency supplies in the region north and west of Aleppo.  Please donate today.

Meet the children of the crisis

Related Stories

How this helps

How this helps

Since the crisis began in 2011, World Vision has reached over two million refugees across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Serbia with life-saving aid. After nearly six devastating years of fighting, there is still no end in sight to the conflict in Syria. As the crisis continues to unfold, World Vision will be there, supporting families for as long as we are needed.

Where your money goes

Where your money goes

We are committed to ensuring the highest proportion of the money you donate gets to those in need. Over the last five years an average of 79.6 per cent of the money received by World Vision has gone to fund our development work overseas.

Support the most urgent humanitarian emergency of our time

Help provide families in the Middle East with life-saving aid

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FAQs: Emergency Relief

  • How quickly does World Vision respond to a disaster, and what is your immediate response?

    When disaster strikes, World Vision adopts a “first-in, last-out” approach: We first respond with life-saving emergency aid, and then we stay for the long term to help families recover and rebuild.

    • Within the first couple of hours after a disaster, World Vision staff members closest to the disaster respond with reports on the level of severity and need. 
    • Within 24 to 72 hours of the disaster, our global rapid response team is on the ground, making assessments and beginning to provide emergency relief. 
    • Within 72 hours of the disaster, our pre-positioned relief supplies are loaded up, transported, and distributed from local and international warehouses. 
    • We then work to continuously distribute emergency aid and relief to residents affected by the disaster. 
    Over the following months, we work to help families stabilise by providing assistance with shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection activities, healthcare, and economic opportunities. 
    Once communities are back on their feet, we work with them to help ensure that they are better prepared should another disaster strike.

    (Source http://www.worldvision.org/our-impact/disaster-relief)

  • When disaster strikes, which World Vision employees respond?

    World Vision’s Global Rapid Response Team brings together international disaster experts from around the world, who are deployed within hours of a major emergency to support local teams and communities. The Global Rapid Response team includes relief managers, programme officers, and specialists in health and nutrition, human resources, finance, logistics, security, food aid, child protection, information technology, and communications — all working as a team to provide effective emergency relief.

    In a large-scale response, World Vision collaborates with the United Nations and other local aid agencies. This collaboration helps avoid duplication, maximize efficiencies, eliminate gaps in humanitarian response, and ensure all needs are met. 

  • How do you prepare to make sure you’re ready when an emergency occurs?

    Having a disaster response fund ready to use, pre-positioning supplies like non-food items, and having staff prepared and trained to respond to emergencies is increasingly important to how we respond to disasters. The global pre-positioning resource network is our designated team that makes sure we’re prepared to respond rapidly to any disaster anywhere in the world. The team pre-positions the supplies and develops preparedness plans, programming standards, logistic assessments, and logistic plans. The supplies are ready to go in seven different warehouses that are strategically located all around the world. These relief supplies are ready for up to 225,000 beneficiaries at any time, ensuring that those affected by disasters will have emergency supplies distributed to them quickly and efficiently.

    We also work with communities to help them be better prepared should disasters strike, through our disaster preparedness programmes.
     

  • How do you help residents recover from disasters in the long term?

    We are quick to respond to disasters, but we also focus on helping to rebuild the lives of disaster-affected families and communities over the long term. Large-scale disasters often leave hundreds of thousands of people homeless and vulnerable. While emergency relief is necessary and saves lives, it is not enough.

    We help disaster survivors by assisting their transition from relief mode to recovery and rebuilding mode. This recovery and rebuilding phase involves a transition to permanent housing, clean water, sustainable sources of food, access to education, and re-established livelihoods. We work to ‘build back better’ so that people are in a better position than they were prior to the disaster taking place.

  • Why are people leaving Syria?

    • Violence: Since the Syrian civil war began, as many as 470,000 people have been killed, says the Syrian Centre for Policy research. 
    • Collapsed infrastructure: Within Syria, healthcare, education systems, and other infrastructure have been destroyed; the economy is shattered.
    • Children’s safety: Syrian children — the nation’s hope for a better future — have lost loved ones, suffered injuries, missed years of schooling, and witnessed unspeakable violence and brutality. 

  • Why are Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe?

    Five years into the crisis, the increased strain on services in the region of hosting the extraordinary high number of refugees has led to worsening living conditions for Syrian refugees and hosting communities alike. Access to health and education services, or basic needs such as food and water, has continued to decline as refugees run out of savings to support themselves and funding requirements run short.

    This deterioration of conditions inside Syria and in neighbouring countries resulted in 2015 seeing the highest numbers of Syrian refugees undertaking risky journeys towards Europe in the hope of a better future. Just over 10 per cent of those who have fled the conflict since its beginning have sought safety in Europe, with 813,599 asylum applications made between April 2011 and April 2015.

  • What is World Vision doing about the Crisis?

    Since the beginning of the crisis, World Vision has reached more than 2.37 million people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey. 

    In 2015, our Syria Crisis Response team reached approximately 1.1 million people, including 630,000 children. Our response includes the following:

    • Lebanon: Cash programming through e-cards, municipal repairs and direct household support on water and sanitation, supporting children through educational and psychosocial programmes.
    • Jordan: School, extracurricular, and psychosocial activities for children of all backgrounds, drainage, water supply system and sanitation facilities in refugee camps, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities rehabilitated in schools in host communities.
    • Syria: Sustainable water and sanitation solutions, psychosocial support for children, household and winter items, hygiene kits and baby kits, and filling gaps in fractured health-care services. 
    • Turkey: World Vision works through local partner IMPR. World Vision provided 3,002 kits for babies and young children to IMPR, who distributed them to Syrian families who had recently fled across the border to safety. World Vision also funds a community centre in Sanliurfa, where language courses are offered, as well as computer literacy and vocational training.
    • Iraq: Food assistance, drilling boreholes, and upgrading water treatment plants, fixed and mobile clinics in areas with no healthcare, informal and alternative learning opportunities for children, and a women’s centre to protect women and girls from violence. 

  • Are Syrian refugees all living in camps?

    No. In Jordan, the overwhelming majority of refugees live in host communities, staying with other families or rental accommodation.

    There are approximately 637,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. Despite how much media coverage it gets only around 80,000 of those live in Za’atari refugee camp. Azraq refugee camp opened in Jordan in 2014 and currently houses approximately 31,000 Syrian refugees. 

    In Lebanon, there are no official refugee camps for Syrians. Syrian refugees are living in host communities or scattered informal camp-like settlements. In Turkey approximately 90% of Syrian refugees live outside formal camps. 

  • What is life like for refugee children living in camps or tents?

    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.