Members Login

Syrian Conflict

March 2011 - Ongoing

Please join the global call to action by supporting one of the agencies below. For more information on the current international response, see UNHCR.

Reliefweb has a number of resources including:

2015 Strategic response plan: Syrian Arab Republic

The response plan aims to:

Promote protection of and access to affected people in accordance with International law, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL).

Provide life-saving and life-sustaining humanitarian assistance to people in need, prioritizing the most vulnerable.

Strengthen resilience, livelihoods and early recovery through communities and institutions.

Strengthen harmonized coordination modalities through enhanced joint planning, information management, communication and regular monitoring.

Enhance the response capacity of all humanitarian actors assisting people in need in Syria, particularly national partners and communities.

Regional refugee and resilience plan 2015- 2016: Regional strategic overview

This Regional Strategic overview is a summary of the programme priorities and resource requirements of nearly 200 partners responding to the Syrian crisis in support of government priorities. The overview benefits from the analysis of almost 200 national and international partners and reflects an integrated and innovative multi-sector response in support of the resilience and refugee response in countries in the region. The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) has the over-arching goals of ensuring protection and humanitarian assistance for refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and other vulnerable communities, while building the resilience of individuals, families, communities and institutions in the most impacted countries.

UNRWA Syria Regional crisis emergency appeal 2015

The conflict in Syria becomes ever more complex and deadly. All 12 Palestine refugee camps and all 560,000 registered Palestine refugees in the country have been profoundly affected. UNRWA has learned to adapt, to move as the conflict permits, and to innovate and find solutions that allow the Agency to continue to fulfil its mandate to assist Palestine refugees. However, violence is escalating, making movement and access more difficult and causing increasingly severe hardship.

New Zealand response

NDRF members responding to the crises are: ADRA, Caritas, CWS,  OxfamSave the Children, TEAR Fund, UNICEF and World Vision. Click on the agency name to be linked directly to their donation page for Syria.

Current news

28 July 2015 - With no humanitarian solutions to the crisis in Syria, the immense suffering of its people would only worsen until a political settlement ended the conflict, a senior United Nations official told the Security Council today. Syria today was “the most acute, unrelenting and shameful blot on the world’s humanitarian conscience”, said Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Reliefweb

3 March 2015 - The world is "not even close to grasping the magnitude" of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, a top aid official said ahead of the fourth anniversary of the peaceful protests that marked the start of the devastating conflict. The Huffington Post

6 February 2015 - The death toll after nearly four years of civil war in Syria has risen to 210,060, nearly half of them civilians, but the real figure is probably much higher, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Thomson Reuters Foundation

4 February 2015 - While aid agencies are providing assistance inside Syria, the situation for children continues to deteriorate and the opportunity to build families’ resilience to withstand future shocks is rapidly depleting. Reliefweb

20 January 2015 - Nearly four years into the crisis, people at the snowed-in settlement near the border said they would welcome any kind of solution in Syria between warring parties so they can go home. Thomson Reuters Foundation

2 October -  A UN chemical weapons team has arrived in Syria to begin the process of disarmament in accordance with a resolution passed in late September. NPR

1 October- The UN Refugee Chief has called upon Syria and its neighbours to ensure it keeps its borders open and provides protection for refugees fleeing from the conflict.

28 September- Foreign Minister McCully has announced an additional 2.6$ million in funding for the Syrian crisis bringing MFAT's aid efforts to Syria to a 7.46$ million. Beehive

27 September- The US Secretary of State made an off the cuff remark that Obama would not intervene in Syria if Al-Assad got rid of his nuclear weapons has been picked up by the Syrian and Russian governments  and led to the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2118. This resolution calls for the speedy destruction of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, most of which will be first transported to Russia in order to keep up with criteria laid out by the UN. While this is a lucky break for Obama considering the anti-intervention stance of the U.S public, many feel that such a simple resolution to the conflict is unobtainable and that justice to the Syrian people has still not been found. United Nations

9 September- Al Assad rejects the claims from the United States government that released Sarin gas on civilians and announces that he would be willing to give chemical weapons to Russia through part of a UN resolution. BBC

2 September - Aid agencies responding to the Syrian crisis are updating contingency plans and pre-positioning stocks, warning that any US-led military action against Syria could lead to an increase in humanitarian needs. Reliefweb

27 August - In violence-stricken areas, the breakdown of essential services is adding to the woes of hundreds of thousands of people reports the International Committee of the Red Cross. Scoop

31 July - The UN has released their latest situation update (Issue 55) which contains a concise overview of the on-going conflict in Syria. Check it out here.

24 July - Recent reports from the UN claim that approximately 5000 people a month are being killed in Syria, quickly accelerating the already large 100,000 death toll from the two year conflict. The large number of deaths and approximately 6000 refugees that are now fleeing the country every day have led to some commentators claiming that this is the worst refugee crisis since Rwanda. Alakhbar

17 July- A recent report indicates that as many as 6,000  foreign soldiers are now involved in combat in Syria, with the majority being formed from surrounding Sunni regions. However a handful of western citizens have joined in the fighting as well with some reports indicating that there are around 120 French, 100 Britons, and up to 200 Australians directly involved in the conflict. Time

16th July - Over 1 million refugees have crossed over the Syrian border since fighting began. The UN High Commissioner on Refugees has issued a statement urging neighbouring countries to continue leaving their borders open as the strain on their economies increases. UNHCR

13 July- UN Humanitarian and Human Rights Chiefs urge immediate safe passage for civilians and aid workers in Homs and Aleppo. Scoop

10 JulyThe UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights has told journalists that Syria is facing an imminent food crisis. The country is currently producing 40% less wheat than previous years and is expected to need 1.5 million tonnes of imported wheat from 2013/2014. More immediately the UN reports that up to 4000 people may be trapped by heavy fighting around the Syrian city of Homs where a major Government  has been underway for more than a week, leaving people to face shortages of food, water, medicine, electricity and fuel. Scoop

3 July - Lebanon struggles to cope with burden of Syrian refugees. The United Nations humanitarian chief today called for support for the more than half a million Syrian refugees that have fled to Lebanon and the local communities hosting them, stressing that the crisis is taking a toll on the country's economy. Scoop

28 June- Iran is reported to have made a military decision to send 4,000 troops to support President Bashar al-Assad in response to America's increasing involvement in the conflict. This claim however has not been picked up by mainstream media however and could be false. Daily Mail, Fox News, Independent,

26 June the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists and officials on the ground for its information claims that the death toll from the civil war now exceeds 100,191 people. Al Jazeera

20 June - NDRF Press Release highlighting the crises in Syria on World Refugee day 

18 June - UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged a £175 aid package to Syria and has called on other G8 members and the wider international community to do the same. GOV.UK

18 June- Hopes that the recent G8 summit would clear a path to end the protracted conflict in Syria have been once again dashed as Vladimir Putin insisted that he "could not back a peace conference convened on the assumption that the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, would step down." The Guardian

15th June- President Obama has authorised sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time after the White House announced they had conclusive evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Government had used chemical weapons against opposition forces trying to overthrow him. NZ Herald

13 May - UK to double aid to Syrian opposition. The British prime minister announced that Britain would double its non-lethal aid to the opposition over the next year and that it was looking at ways to provide more technical assistance to the rebels. The Guardian

20 March - Oxfam press release: Syria health risks as summer approaches. Oxfam is calling on New Zealanders to donate to the Syria Conflict Appeal as health risks to Syria refugees grow with warming temperatures. Oxfam

20 March - The United Nations defended its humanitarian work in Syria on Monday, saying it deals with all parties in a "neutral and transparent manner" and offers assistance to all those affected by the conflict. Reliefweb

28 February 2013-- The US will increase aid to the Syrian opposition in an effort to speed a political transition in Syria, according to the White House spokesman. Aljazeera

26 February 2013 --  The key purpose of the Joint Rapid Assessment in Northern Syria (J-RANS) was to provide strategic information on needs, key affected populations, priority sectors for intervention and to determine where assistance is reaching people. To see the key findings and this document in full see ReliefWeb.

22 February 2013-- A representative from WHO reports that infections in Syria are spreading due to a confluence of trends, for example, water pumps cannot be run because of the shortage of electricity and fuel. The resulting lack of drinking water is in addition to an almost complete breakdown of the sewage and the waste system in some regions. IRIN

12 January 2013 - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) draws attention to the rising number of deaths and injuries among Palestine refugees in Syria and repeats its grave concern about this trend.

30 January 2013- The United Nations has received promises of major donations at this week's $1.5 billion aid conference for millions of Syrians affected by nearly two years of conflict, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday. AlertNet

25 January 2013- As the humanitarian situation continues to worsen, WHO has designated the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic and neighbouring countries a Grade 3 emergency based on the criteria (scale, urgency, complexity and context) in its Emergency Response Framework (ERF). ReliefWeb

14 January 2013 - Syrian women and girls allege use of sexual violence as weapon of war - read the report by the International Rescue Committee.

11 January 2013 - Severe weather conditions across northern Jordan – including heavy rain, snow and sub-zero temperatures – have greatly worsened the situation of children among some 55,000 Syrian refugees living at Za’atari camp. ReliefWeb

19 December 2012 - Today in Geneva, the United Nations launched the 2013 Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (SRRP).OCHA

17 December 2012 - OCHA has relaesed its latest humanitarian dashboard to provide a summary of the situation. OCHA

13 December 2012 - The Syrian military has used air-delivered incendiary bombs in at least fourlocations across Syria since mid-November 2012, Human Rights Watch said today. The conclusion is based on interviews with four witnesses and multiple videos analyzed by Human Rights Watch.  HRW

20 November 2012 -- A senior United Nations official today praised efforts made by the Lebanese Government to help Syrian refugees who have fled the violence in their country, while noting that as the winter approaches, more will need to be done to ensure the population’s well-being. UN News

27 October 2012 -- Syria Bombs major cities weakening truce. Reported bombardment comes on day 2 of truce. Army said it reserved right to respond to rebel attacks AlertNet

3 October 2012 -- More than 300,000 Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries, the United Nations refugee agency said today, with numbers tripling over the past three months. UN News

27 September 2012 -- King Abdullah II of Jordan has called for more international help to prevent a humanitarian disaster for over 200,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting in their homeland, stressing that the United Nations has an important role to play in finding a political solution in the neighbouring country. UN News

19 September 2012 -- Iraq has reopened its border with Syria on Tuesday to receive refugees escaping violence, but refused entry to young men for security reasons, Iraqi officials said. Alert Net

12 September 2012 -- Medical assistance is at risk for thousands of Syrians fleeing into Lebanon who are living in overcrowded conditions, suffering psychological distress and unable to afford medical care, according to a new survey from charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). Alert Net

6 September 2012 -- UNICEF scales up their emergency health and nutrition response to meet the increasing needs of children affected by the crisis in Syria.  Thousands of Syrian children are being screened to prevent malnutrition as part of a regional response to meet the growing health and nutrition needs of an estimated 1.3 million children affected by the ongoing crisis – including children inside Syria and in surrounding countries. Relief Web

5 September 2012 -- As heavy fighting continues throughout Syria, the United Nations refugee agency today reported that the number of those fleeing to neighbouring countries rose to over 100,000 in August – the highest monthly total to date. UN News

4 September 2012 -- The worsening conditions and deepening violence in Syria is making it increasingly difficult for displaced civilians to find refuge, the United Nations humanitarian agency said today, warning that insecurity is hampering efforts to provide the population with access to basic services such as food and water and sanitation. UN News

The worsening conditions and deepening violence in Syria is making it increasingly difficult for displaced civilians to find refuge, the United Nations humanitarian agency said today, warning that insecurity is hampering efforts to provide the population with access to basic services such as food and water and sanitation.

29 August 2012 -- The UNHCR has today reported that the number of refugees fleeing the violence in Syria and seeking humanitarian aid in northern Jordan has more than doubled in the past week alone, and warns that a much larger influx of refugees could be expected in the coming days. UN News

23 August 2012-- The United Nations humanitarian chief today appealed to the international community to increase its funding to help 2.5 million Syrians who are in urgent need of basic services such as shelter, food, health care, water and sanitation. UN News

21 August 2012 -- Today, Refugees International and allied organizations submitted an open letter to the members of the UN Security Council. The letter states that with the UN Supervision Mission in Syria now shutting down, and efforts to get aid into the country foundering, it is time for renewed Council action to help the 1.5 million internally-displaced Syrians. RI and its allies are asking the Council to pressure all sides in Syria to prevent displacement, protect those who have fled, and grant immediate humanitarian access. Relief Web

15 August 2012-- Syrian Government and opposition forces have perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to a new report by the United Nations independent panel probing abuses committed during the country’s ongoing conflict. The report states that war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial killings and torture, and gross violations of international human rights, including unlawful killing, attacks against civilians and acts of sexual violence, have been committed in line with State policy, with indications of the involvement at the highest levels of the Government, as well as security and armed forces. UN News

14 August 2012 -- Arriving in the Syrian capital of Damascus, the United Nations top relief official today called on the parties in the Middle Eastern country’s ongoing conflict to respect international humanitarian law and its provisions. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, arrived in Syria earlier on Tuesday, for a three day visit to that strife-torn country and Lebanon, to see for herself the impact of the intensifying conflict and to discuss ways to increase humanitarian assistance.UN News

14 August 2012-- With hundreds of people fleeing Syria daily to surrounding countries, UNHCR is scaling up its capacity for registering Syrian refugees. Registration is important because without it people may have difficulties in access to basic help and services. Relief Web