Syria Crisis

The Syrian civil war has sparked the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Concern Worldwide is providing emergency relief inside Syria and is working with refugees and vulnerable host families in Lebanon and Turkey.

Syria Crisis

Going on its seventh year, the Syrian civil war has sparked one of the greatest population exoduses in modern history, with more than four million Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries. The majority are living in Turkey (1.9 million), Lebanon (1.2 million), and Jordan (629,000). With no end in sight, these refugees have little prospect of returning home anytime soon.

Concern Worldwide is working inside Syria and with refugees and vulnerable host families in Lebanon and Turkey to deliver life-changing assistance. With a total portfolio of approximately $29 million from 14 donors, Concern is supporting almost 900,000 people affected by the Syria crisis through 18 projects in education, livelihoods, protection, food security, and water and sanitation.

Our response


More than 12 million people inside Syria require immediate humanitarian assistance, while more than seven million people are displaced inside the country as a result of the violence. By the end of 2013, three in every four people in Syria lived in poverty as a result of the war that the United Nations estimates has robbed the country of almost four decades of development gains. Life expectancy has shortened by almost 13 years and school attendance has dropped by more than 50 percent.

Reaching people in need is extremely difficult as the front-lines constantly change and human rights abuses and violations continue on a staggering scale.

Concern is working inside Syria to provide clean water and improve sanitation and hygiene conditions. This includes a vector control program to curb the spread of public health risks resulting from sand-flies, mosquitoes, rats, and scorpions. To date, these interventions have reached approximately 300,000 people.


In 2014, Lebanon became the country with the highest concentration of refugees in the world.

A country of four million people, Lebanon has seen its population increase by more than 25 percent since the influx of Syrian refugees into its borders began in 2011.

This surge has strained housing, health care, education, and public works such as water and electricity. Because formal refugee camps are not allowed in Lebanon, a higher demand for housing has driven up rental prices, putting a strain on both Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities.

Since 2011, unemployment in Lebanon has doubled and the number of Lebanese living below the poverty line has increased by two-thirds. For Syrians, higher rental prices, limited work opportunities, depleted savings, and rising debt levels are pushing refugee families — many of whom were middle-class before the war — into poverty.

Concern is working in Akkar, the poorest and northernmost district in Lebanon, to address the shelter needs of more than 14,500 Syrian refugees. This includes creating new multi-family shelter options known as collective centers, improving conditions in informal tented settlements, and preparing families for winter weather. We are also improving the water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions for more than 56,000 Syrian refugees as well as Lebanese host communities.

With more than 340,000 Syrian, Lebanese, and Palestinian children out of school, we are giving hundreds of children access to quality education. We also provide psycho-social support to women and children living in collective centers.

We work to reduce gender-based violence by engaging groups of men to encourage more equal gender roles in homes and by establishing equal management committees that deal with protection issues in communities. In all, it is a comprehensive effort meant to help these refugees improve their lives.


Nearly two million Syrians are currently seeking refuge in Turkey, more than any other country.

The violence inside Syria continues to drive more and more families across the border into Turkey.

Concern is working in southeastern Turkey to respond to some of the needs of Syrians fleeing the conflict. In all, nearly 90,000 people have been reached through our programs in Turkey, which span education, protection, and voucher and relief item distributions.

Our teams have provided personal hygiene items, winter clothes, food baskets, and other items. We are also distributing monthly vouchers to Syrian families so that they can purchase food and other necessities.

We are also supporting the education of 2,500 children in seven schools by helping pay teachers, provide teaching and learning materials, training teachers, and repairing school infrastructure. This coming school year, which starts in October, we plan to expand these efforts to 15 schools, reaching 7,500 students.

Our teams in Turkey are also working to reduce gender-based violence by forming men’s groups that offer training on the cycle of violence, non-violent communication, and other topics. In parallel, we also organize women’s groups that focus on similar topics and provide a safe space forum to raise protection concerns. We also organize events, games, and other activities for children that are designed to give them the knowledge and confidence to protect themselves.

Help the victims of Syria’s civil war

Concern’s work in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey is already reaching hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been torn apart by six years of conflict. With your help, we can do even more.

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