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million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 6 million internally displaced people. 


of Syrian refugees are living below the poverty line, with limited access to basic services, education or job opportunities.


Syrians and more than 25,000 tents in northwest Syria were affected by flooding during the first months of 2021.

About the Crisis in Syria

As the Syria crisis enters its tenth year, the humanitarian situation for Syrian refugees remains dire. An estimated 11 million people need humanitarian assistance and more than half of the population remains displaced from their homes - including 5.5 million refugees living in neighboring countries and another 6 million internally displaced inside Syria. Women and children comprise more than half of those displaced.

Over the years Syrians have shown remarkable resilience, but as war continues, hope is fading fast. Approximately 80 percent are living below the poverty line, striving to create a future for themselves and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated these challenges, with millions losing their livelihoods and increasingly unable to meet their basic needs. 

In northwest Syria, flooding and outbreaks of violence have displaced an additional one million people 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 conflict providing shelter, lifesaving supplies, clean water 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. It is also 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 125 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 (3.6 million) and in Lebanon approximately one in four people is a Syrian refugee.
  • Approximately 92 percent of refugees who have fled to neighboring countries live in rural and urban settings, with only an 8 percent living in refugee camps.
  • In Jordan, more than 110,000 Syrians live in Za'atari and Azraq refugee camps. In  Za'atari refugee camp, more than half of refugees are children and 30 percent are female-headed households.
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