An estimated 13.5 million people, including 5.8 million children are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. 6.3 million People are displaced within Syria, of which 4.9 million are in besieged and hard-to-reach areas and 4.8 million are registered refugees in neighbouring countries, 1.2 millions have applied for asylum in Europe.
UNHCR started its operations in Syria with the first Iraqi war in 1991 and expanded its operation exponentially with the massive influx of Iraqi refugees in the middle of the last decade.
In 2012, with the escalation of the crisis in Syria, UNHCR expanded the scope of its operations to respond to the humanitarian needs of increasing number of internally displaced persons and other populations affected.
To date, UNHCR in cooperation with partner International and National NGOs undertake programmes aiming at reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing protection, through a wide range of community-based activities, with particular focus on the neediest and most vulnerable population groups.
In 2015, UNHCR reached more than 850,000 individuals through protection and community services interventions, including through capacity building of its partners. UNHCR has provided targeted material assistance, socio-economic and recreational activities, psychosocial support, legal aid, gender-based violence referral, child protection services, community-based initiatives as well as awareness raising sessions on various issues, ranging from residency procedures to prevention of gender-based violence and early marriages in Syria. The collective efforts of Protection sector partners, which UNHCR coordinates as the sector lead agency, benefited more than 3.5 million internally displaced persons.
So far, UNHCR supported 74 community centers in 11 governorates. All interventions of the community centers are designed to focus attention in particular on persons with specific needs with activities such as counseling, education, livelihood, vocational training, primary health and psychosocial support activities. Over 1,000 beneficiaries per month are supported by UNHCR and partners with a variety of protection services through a community center.
In response to the rapid displacement, UNHCR Syria dispatched over 9 million core relief items in 2015 to 3.2 million needy individuals in 12 out of the 14 governorates including cross-border convoys from Turkey and Jordan, provided cash assistance to some 23,000 families, delivered shelter assistance to more than 60,000 individuals and ensured nearly 800,000 individuals had access to healthcare.