Syria crisis: what Concern is doing and why

September 11, 2015

Now in its fifth year, the Syrian civil war has displaced millions of people. Concern is working with hundreds of thousands of them across three separate countries. Find out what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how you can help.


Key facts:

  • The Syrian civil war has consumed the country for nearly 5 years
  • More than 300,000 have already died in the conflict, with no end in sight
  • 12 million people inside Syria desperately need humanitarian assistance
  • 7 million Syrians have been forced from their homes but remain in the country
  • More than 4 million Syrians are currently refugees, seeking safety in other countries
  • Nearly than 2 million of those refugees are currently within Turkey
  • Over 1 million of those refugees are being housed by Lebanon, a country of only 4.5 million people

Where Concern is working:

Map of where Concern is working: Syria, Turkey and Lebanon

What we’re doing:

Concern has been working to provide emergency assistance to victims of Syria’s civil war in both Syria and Lebanon since 2013. In 2014, we expanded our work to Turkey. In all, Concern anticipates reaching 1 million people this year as part of this response. Here’s how:


  • Clean water – such as rehabilitating existing water supply networks to provide hundreds of thousands Syrians with safe drinking water
  • Food — distributing food baskets as well as monthly vouchers so families can purchase their own food and other necessities
  • Shelter — finding and improving shelter for 14,500 Syrian refugees, whether in existing structures, informal tented settlements, or Concern-created multi-family shelters known as collective centers
  • Warmth — distributing blankets and warm clothing, and winterizing shelters in Turkey and Lebanon
  • Sanitation and hygiene — providing items as simple and important as soap, toothpaste and diapers
  • Pest and disease control — curbing sandflies, mosquitoes, mice, rats, and scorpions to provide safe spaces to live


  • Education — providing quality education for thousands of refugee children who otherwise face years of lost schooling (read more)
  • Pyschosocial support —  helping women and children living in collective centers deal with the trauma they have experienced
  • Gender-based violence reduction — engaging groups of men to learn methods of non-violent communication, and to constructively confront their own feelings of powerlessness (read more)
A Syrian refugee child stands in front of her home in an informal tented settlement in Bebnine, Lebanon.

A Syrian refugee child stands in front of her home in an informal tented settlement in Akkar district, Lebanon, where Concern Worldwide distributed tarps to vulnerable families following a night of heavy rains. Photo: Crystal Wells.

Why we’re doing it:

Concern strongly believes that:

  • The only sustainable end to the refugee crisis is a negotiated political solution to the war
  • Until that is reached, the best way to help the Syrian people is to reach them within their own country and in the neighboring countries in which they have primarily sought refuge

How you can help:

Concern is already reaching hundreds of thousands of Syrians torn from their homes by war. With your support, we can do even more.


Want to know more about our work?

What we’re doing in Lebanon:

There are now more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon. With formal refugee camps impermissable in Lebanon, we are addressing the shelter needs for more than 14,500 Syrian refugees. This includes bettering the living situation in informal tented settlements and creating new, multi-family shelter options known as collection centers. We are also improving the water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions for more than 56,000 refugees and Lebanese host community members. Additionally, we are helping hundreds of children gain access to high-quality education, providing psychosocial support to women and children, and helping build resources for communities to promote gender equality, reduce gender-based violence, and manage protection issues.

A Syrian husband and wife sit on the remains of their makeshift shelter.

A Syrian husband and wife sit on the remains of their makeshift shelter — which fell in a fierce rainstorm — in an informal tented settlement in Akkar district, north Lebanon. Photo: Crystal Wells.

What we’re doing in Turkey:

We have distributed food baskets, household items, blankets and shelter materials to over 6,000 households during the last 12 months (36,000 people). We have been supporting 7 Syrian schools which has provided improved access to quality education for 2500 students. In August 2015, Concern started providing monthly financial support to 2,000 of the most vulnerable households through a voucher system which can be used to purchase food and other items in local shops. We are helping individual families to access information and assistance in Turkey and helping the refugee community promote gender equality, reduce gender-based violence, and manage protection issues.

Syrian refugees receive food and other aid items

Syrian refugees receive food and other aid items distributed by Concern in Suruc, south-eastern Turkey. Credit: Caroline Gluck/EU/ECHO

What we’re doing in Syria:

We are currently focused on delivering clean, safe water to over 250,000 people. We are doing this by rehabilitating water supply systems and providing hygiene kits to the most vulnerable to help prevent the spread of water-related diseases. We have also distributed blankets, household items and shelter materials to 2,000 of the most vulnerable families and we plan to start distributing food baskets to 1,000 households in September with the potential for more assistance to follow.

Syrian children

Syrian children having fled their homes with their families living in abandoned school in Syria. Photo: Arjan Ottens/September 2013/Syria.


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