The violence inside Syria continues to drive people from their homes, with some Syrians seeking safety within their country and others making the risky crossing into neighboring countries. The United Nations estimates that up to 4 million people are in need of help, including some 2.5 million believed to be internally displaced.
The UN refugee agency has 350 staff working inside Syria. Despite the insecurity, they continue to distribute vital assistance in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Al Hassakeh and Homs. Thanks to their work and dedication, more than 500,000 people have received non-food items such as blankets, kitchen sets and mattresses. These items are essential for people who flee their homes, often with no more than the clothes on their backs.
Unfortunately, recent deliveries have been very difficult. In November, humanitarian operations were disrupted on at least two days in Damascus because of insecurity. Similar difficulties were experienced by staff working in Aleppo, and UNHCR was forced to withdraw staff from northeastern Hassakeh governorate to ensure staff safety.
Nevertheless, progress has been made. In November, UNHCR delivered nearly 5,000 mattresses and 500 hygiene kits to Aleppo, Hassakeh and Adra. The agency also continues to provide education materials and cash assistance for families.
In Hassakeh, 10,500 displaced children received individual school kits. And cash assistance of $150 per family was provided to nearly 12,100 displaced families in Al Nabek (rural Damascus) and in Hassakeh governorate so that vulnerable Syrian families so that they may stock up on items such as heating fuel, cooking oil and supplies for the winter.
If you'd like to support UNHCR's aid to displaced Syrians, learn 9 ways that anyone can take action.
Photos are from August to November 2012. © UNHCR / B. Diab