13.4 million people in need in Syria
6.6 million refugees worldwide
A decade of crisis in Syria has left millions of people suffering.
Since 2011, a staggering 6.6 millions of Syrians – close to the whole Hong Kong population –
have been forced to flee their homes.
The lives of these displaced people have not gotten any easier over the years, and 2021 could prove the most difficult year yet. Poverty is rising, food insecurity is growing, and access to education and healthcare is dwindling. Meanwhile, protection risks are surging, and the COVID-19 pandemic is further exacerbating these challenges.
“All together, this has led to a skyrocketing of extreme poverty,” says Karolina Lindholm Billing, Deputy Representative of the operation in Lebanon, which currently hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees. “Every year we do a vulnerability assessment. Last year showed that 89% of the Syrian refugees are now below the extreme poverty line. There are so many people in such deep end.”
The Syrian people are almost entirely dependent on assistance to pay for their most basic needs. Thanks to your support, UNHCR teams have been working on the ground in both Syria and the neighbouring countries throughout the crisis.
“A big warm thank you to donors.
Their support not only helps people live a decent and dignified life to the extent possible,
but it also tells them there are others who care. And that means everything.”
In 2020, nearly 800,000 more Syrian refugees benefitted from emergency cash assistance, while another 2 million refugees received cash assistance across the region.
|Q: Why is cash assistance so important?||A: It’s to let refugees pay the rent to the landlord, pay the electricity bills and buy food for themselves and their families. Very few refugees are able to make enough money to cover their basic needs. And that’s where this cash assistance is really a lifeline.|
UNHCR and partners opened the world’s first COVID-19 vaccination centre in a refugee camp in February. We provided health care services to over 25,000 people in January alone, and distributed COVID-19 information to over 120,000 individuals via WhatsApp.
|Q: How is UNHCR responding to COVID-19?||A: During COVID-19, UNHCR has been covering the costs of PCR testing for refugees and those who require hospital treatment and care. We also cover the bills for the hospitals so that they get reimbursed and the refugee family gets the care that they need.|
UNHCR and partners are supporting distant learning via homework support groups, training teachers on online learning and hosting digital connected learning hubs.
|Q: Why is education a priority?||A: For many refugee children, it’s been very difficult to follow school online because either it’s not provided or they don’t have the devices. 54% of Syrian refugees are below 18 and these are kids who should be learning and developing their knowledge and skills for the future.|
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.