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14.6 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, up from 13.4 million last year. 


Three quarters of all households in Syria could not meet their most basic needs in 2021 – 10 percent more than the year before.


Approximately 2.5 million Syrian refugee children are out of school and an additional 1.6 million are at risk of dropping out.

About the Crisis in Syria

As the Syria crisis enters its eleventh year, the humanitarian situation is more difficult than ever. An estimated 14.6 million people need humanitarian assistance and more than half of the population remains displaced from their homes - including 5.6 million refugees living in neighboring countries and more than 6.9 million internally displaced inside Syria. Women and children comprise more than two thirds of those displaced.

Over the years, Syrians have shown remarkable resilience, but as war continues, hope is fading fast. In 2021, three quarters of all households in Syria could not meet their most basic needs – 10 percent more than the year before. In Lebanon, over 90 percent of Syrians live in extreme poverty.

In northwest Syria, flooding and outbreaks of violence have displaced tens of thousands of Syrian families since December 2019. They now live in terrible conditions amidst widespread destruction of services and economic hardship. With no end in sight to the conflict, UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi calls it "the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time and a continuing cause for suffering."


Albeit a silent one, Syria remains the world’s largest refugee crisis of our time.

What is UNHCR doing to help Syrian refugees?


The UN Refugee Agency has been on the ground since the start of the crisis providing shelter, lifesaving supplies, clean water, hot meals and medical care to families who have been forced to flee their homes. During winter, UNHCR also supports vulnerable families with vital winter relief items - such as warm clothes, sleeping bags, thermal blankets, stoves, fuel for heating and insulation for tents - as well as cash assistance to help Syrian refugees pay rent and purchase food and medicine.

As part of the COVID-19 response, UNHCR has provided protective equipment to hospitals and health clinics, distributed medicines and supported the construction of quarantine areas and hygiene facilities. UNHCR has also distributed cash assistance to nearly 800,000 additional Syrian refugees and is working closely with host countries to ensure that refugees, internally displaced and stateless people are included in national responses to the pandemic as well as COVID-19 vaccination programs. In Jordan, for example, the government has included refugees in every aspect of their public health response and some refugees have already started to receive the vaccine.

Learn more about What We Do.

Stories from the Syria Refugee Crisis

Syria Refugee Crisis Explained


Refugee mother prepares for another winter in Za’atari refugee camp

More stories about the Syrian refugee crisis >

Syrian Refugee Camps and Settlements

Syrian refugee mother and her son inside their shelter in Tripoli, Lebanon.

  • Syrian refugees have sought asylum in more than 130 countries, but the vast majority live in neighboring countries within the region, such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Turkey alone hosts the largest population (over 3.7 million) and in Lebanon approximately one in four people is a Syrian refugee.
  • The majority of Syrians in the region live with host communities. Only five percent of Syrian refugees live in a refugee camp - 50 percent less than five years ago.
  • In  Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan, more than half of refugees are children and 30 percent are female-headed households.
  • Inside Syria, 1.8 million people are still living in camps and informal settlements.
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