Action Against Hunger responds to Syria refugee crisis


The humanitarian situation is worsening in Syria. Help us support those in this conflict and others

Country Overview

As the war in Iraq ground on into the latter half of the 2000s, it created unrest across the Arab world, sending hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees into Syria and other neighboring countries. Unfortunately, with Syria’s unbalanced economy, limited resources, and strained infrastructure, it quickly became evident that it wouldn’t be able to shoulder the rising influx without the support of the international community.

A considerable number of Syrian families fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, where we’ve been providing assistance to those sheltering in five refugee camps in the Kurdistan region. Many of the families who have fled to these camps have experienced unimaginable trauma, particularly the children, so we run mental health care programmes, also referred to as ‘psychological first aid’, for women, men and children. 

Many Syrians also fled to Lebanon, contributing to the 1.2 million refugee community since the Syria conflict began in 2011. Lebanon now hosts the largest number of refugees per capita in the world. 

More than 622,000 Syrian refugees have sought shelter in Jordan. Such an influx can put pressure on local infrastructure and the economy – including unemployment, rental and wage rates. 

People helped in 2016

What we are doing

Action Against Hunger stepped in to help, launching programs in Syria in 2008, as our teams raced to improve access to food and income for Iraqi refugees and Syrian residents alike -- projects that included professional training, tool kit distributions, agricultural programs, and pastoral and livestock management.Our 400-plus regional staff are working to meet the needs of families both displaced within Syria and those now sheltering in neighbouring Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.   

Our recent work includes ensuring that displaced families have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, overseeing the distribution of emergency hygiene kits, and building latrines to support those living in camps. With the heightened insecurity and increasingly indiscriminate violence, and the exodus of thousands of Syrian refugees into neighboring countries, the growing destruction poses the severest of risks for all involved. We remain committed to helping displaced families, both within Syria and in the neighbouring countries where so many Syrians have fled.

Since 2013 we’ve been working with the communities that have welcomed them, to ensure the needs of both refugees and vulnerable Jordanian families are met – including by repairing and installing water and sanitation facilities in communities and homes, and by providing financial and psychological support.

In 2016 we helped 1,619,950 people gain access to clean water and supported 141,354 people become economically self sufficient.


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Photo credits:  © ACF

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