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million Syrian refugees and 6.1 million more are displaced inside the country. Syria accounts for the world’s largest number of forcibly displaced people.


million Syrian refugees live in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.


of Syrian refugees live in urban areas in neighboring countries, often in overcrowded informal settlements and dangerous locations.

About the Crisis in Syria

Since 2011, the war in Syria has claimed thousands of lives and left 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. More than half the country’s population has been forced to flee their homes, including 6.6 million refugees seeking safety in neighboring countries and another 6.1 million who are internally displaced inside Syria. 

With no end in sight, Syria remains the largest refugee crisis in the world. In Lebanon and Jordan, at least 70 percent of refugee families live below the poverty line in decaying, overcrowded rooms without privacy, electricity or running water. And those who remain in Syria struggle to meet basic needs. The destruction of civilian infrastructure and services has left millions with no way to support their families. There are approximately 5 million people displaced in besieged and hard-to-reach areas inside Syria, where humanitarian aid deliveries remain a key challenge. UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi calls Syria "the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time, a continuing cause for suffering."


Syria to Iraq: Nadira's Story

What is UNHCR doing to help Syrian refugees?


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is on the ground leading efforts in the region to provide shelter, lifesaving supplies, cash for medicine and food, healthcare, protection services and psychosocial support to those in need. During the winter season, UNHCR also supports vulnerable families with vital winter relief items, such as warm clothes, sleeping bags, thermal blankets, stoves and fuel for heating and insulation for tents.

In 2019, UNHCR aims to support more than 5.5 million refugees living in neighboring countries and 11 million people inside Syria who are in extremely dangerous circumstances.

Learn more about What We Do.


Stories from the Syria Refugee Crisis

Syria Refugee Crisis Explained

Bringing Aid — and Hope — to Rukban

See all stories about the Syrian refugee crisis >

Syrian Refugee Camps and Settlements

Syrian refugee family outside their shelter at Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan.

  • Approximately 50 percent of all registered Syrian refugees are under the age of 18 – and millions have grown up knowing nothing but conflict.
  • The majority of Syria's refugees are hosted in five neighboring countries: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. Approximately one in four people in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee. 
  • Most Syrian refugees live in urban areas, villages or spontaneously set-up tented settlements, with around only 10 percent accommodated in refugee camps.
  • In Jordan, nearly 120,000 Syrians live in two camps: Za'atari and Azraq refugee camps. At Azraq refugee camp, approximately 60% of refugees are children, including 240 who are unaccompanied and separated.
  • Inside Syria, one in four schools have been damaged, destroyed or used for shelter. Less than half of primary school-aged children are enrolled in school and only one in three secondary and university aged students have access to education.
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