Millions of Syrians have escaped across borders, fleeing the bombs and bullets that have devastated their homes. They are still living in exile, facing increasingly desperate conditions. Most live below the poverty line, sometimes struggling to feed and shelter their families while crippled by rising debt. Women and children account for approximately 70 per cent of the refugees most in need of assistance.
Imagine being displaced not just once, but five times. That’s what happened to Abdul Kader and his family.
The experience left them afraid and exhausted, but was particularly hard on Abdul Kader’s three children, who had to leave their school and friends behind.
“We were so scared, moving around from house to house, taking everything with us,” says Abdul Kader’s 14-year-old daughter Dania. “Every time we moved, I fell further behind in school.”
When Abdul Kader first returned to the ruins of his home after five long years away, the scale of the destruction left him numb. “At first I didn’t react at all. I was in shock. I went in for five or ten minutes, then left. I just couldn’t stand it,” he says.
After a couple of weeks, Abdul found the strength to return. Working alone in the rubble of his house, he slowly began to clear the debris and fill the gaping holes left by years of shelling – determined to rebuild his home and life.
With financial assistance from UNHCR, the family has been able to renovate much of what remained of their home, replacing doors and windows and repairing the water and electricity networks. Their situation is not easy, but they are glad to be in a familiar place.
What is UNHCR doing to help?
We provide life-saving humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees, helping the most vulnerable with cash for medicine and food, stoves and fuel for heating, insulation for tents, thermal blankets and winter clothing. For those who have been displaced but remain in Syria, we provide shelter kits and non-food items as well as protection services and psychosocial support.
With Syria’s war heading into its eighth year and with no end to the fighting in sight, we joined forces with other United Nations humanitarian and development agencies to appeal for US$8 billion in vital new funding to help millions of people in Syria and across the region.
could provide mattresses to prevent ten families from sleeping on the ground in a year
could provide fleece blankets to keep 23 refugees warm at night in a year
could provide essential kitchen set to enable 21 families to prepare food