EMERGENCIES

Syria Refugee Crisis

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5.6 million refugees

More than half of all Syrians have been displaced by war — 6.6 million have been driven from their homes but remain in Syria.

Approximately 90%

Of Syrian refugees live outside of camps in makeshift shelters or urban areas, often in overcrowded and dangerous locations.

Turkey hosts 3.5 million

Millions of other Syrians refugees have found safety in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

Background

In March 2011, the Syrian government violently responded to public demonstrations in support of a group of teenage boys who were arrested for writing graffiti in support of the Arab Spring. Since then, more than half of all Syrians have been forced to flee their homes because of war — 5.6 million have fled the country and 6.6 million more have been driven from their homes but remain in Syria.

Syrians who remain in the country have a difficult time meeting basic needs, with humanitarian aid deliveries being challenged by armed conflicts and difficult terrain. UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi calls Syria "the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time, a continuing cause for suffering."

Refugee Voices

VIDEO

A child as old as Syria's war (3:11)

Stories from the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Timeline of the Syrian Crisis: Seven Tragic Years

Refugee Art in Azraq: A Message of Hope and Resilience

See all stories about the Syrian refugee crisis >

Syrian Refugee Camps and Settlements

Syrian refugee Alaa, 11, holds her 2-month-old sister Muna at their shelter in Azraq refugee camp.

  • The majority of Syria's refugees live in urban areas in the region, including Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. 
  • Approximately 10 percent of refugees live in camps. 
  • Nearly 140,000 Syrians live in two camps: Za'atari refugee camp and Azraq refugee camp in Jordan.  
  • Over 461,000 Syrians have passed through Za'atari camp since it was established in 2012.
  • Over half the residents in both camps are children, including unaccompanied minors.