Syria Crisis: 11 Years of the Syrian War

Eleven years of the Syria crisis have taken a huge toll on Syria and Syrians. The needs of refugees and their host communities are steadily on the rise. Lack of progress to achieve political solutions warrants a more concerted collaboration to sustain humanitarian support and find solutions.

UNHCR works hard to help, leading a coordinated effort across the region. Together with our partners, NGOs and host governments, we offer a lifeline to those in need.

Please donate now.

14.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria

6.9 million internally displaced persons

90% of Syrians living below the poverty line

76% of households unable to meet basic needs


What were you doing 11 years ago?

In March 2011 in Syria, many people were hurriedly packing their bags, to escape a brutal conflict that would become the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time.

Eleven years on into the emergency, some 6.9 million Syrians are still displaced in their own country. About 14.6 million people need humanitarian and protection assistance – more than in 2021 (about 9% more). Through it all – thanks to your support – UNHCR has been on the ground to help those forced to flee, while calling on all parties to find a peaceful resolution.


The People of Syria

Syria accounts for the world’s largest number of forcibly displaced people with over half of its population forced to flee.

Syrian families everywhere continue to demonstrate their courage and resilience, making huge sacrifices to put their children’s needs first, turning their temporary shelters into homes, showing their entrepreneurial spirit and their deep desire to rebuild their lives with hope and dignity.


Why is your help needed?

Since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, over half of the country’s population has been forced to flee their homes. Most seek refuge elsewhere in the country, if they can.

Eleven years into the crisis, UNHCR teams are still on the ground day in and day out, helping to identify and assist those most in need. We are the primary UN agency leading on protection and community services, shelter and the distribution of essential relief items inside Syria.

We couldn’t do it without the donations of caring people like you.


Early in the morning of 6 February 2023, a powerful earthquake struck Pazarcık District in the province of Kahramanmaras in south-eastern Türkiye. Reports indicate that the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter scale and at a depth of around 18km/11 miles. 

A second large earthquake of a magnitude of 7.5 hit just hours later, some 60 miles from the epicenter of the earlier earthquake. Dozens of tremors and aftershocks were felt in Türkiye and Syria as well as in other parts of Europe and the Middle East. 

Give a life-saving aid today.

Inside Syria

In 2018, three major emergency situations in Eastern Ghouta (Rural Damascus), Afrin (Aleppo) and the south of Syria
(Dar’a and Quneitra) led to continued internal displacement and loss of lives. UNHCR is present inside Syria focusing on the following: provision of emergency life-saving assistance to internally displaced persons, continued protection and assistance to IDPs, winterization, and the preparation for returns and response to immediate and urgent needs of spontaneous returnees.

Refugee Response

Most of the Syrian refugees are hosted in just five neighboring countries:

  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Jordan
  • Iraq
  • Egypt