Where and how we work
Interactive map: How to

Find our projects directly on the world map! A click on one of the icons takes you to a project, or use the filters to search for a specific continent, country or topic.

Surviving the civil war

AID FOR REFUGEES IN SYRIA, TURKEY AND NORTHERN IRAQ

Around 13.5 million people are dependent on emergency aid

The civil war in Syria has been raging for more than five years. Welthungerhilfe has been providing humanitarian aid since November 2012 - and will continue to support people in the region.

Essyan Camp for Yezidi near Dohuk: In Northern Iraq, Welthungerhilfe is helping through the distribution of food and winter relief parcels, camp management, and the reconstruction. © Lass
Essyan Camp for Yezidi near Dohuk: In Northern Iraq, Welthungerhilfe is helping through the distribution of food and winter relief parcels, camp management, and the reconstruction. © Lass
Syrians flee to Turkish border as Aleppo assault intensifies. We support refugees with tents.
Syrians flee to Turkish border as Aleppo assault intensifies. We support refugees with tents.
In Syria, Welthungerhilfe is mainly distributing food and seeds. © People in Need
In Syria, Welthungerhilfe is mainly distributing food and seeds. © People in Need
A child sleeping in a building shell near Dohuk in Northern Iraq. 106 people are living in this house. © Lass
A child sleeping in a building shell near Dohuk in Northern Iraq. 106 people are living in this house. © Lass
Bread handout at Mardin Syrian Solidarity Platform (MSSP) in Mardin, Turkey: 90,000 people in Turkey received winter aid packages and food last winter. © Lass
Bread handout at Mardin Syrian Solidarity Platform (MSSP) in Mardin, Turkey: 90,000 people in Turkey received winter aid packages and food last winter. © Lass
Agriculture in Syria? Thanks to distributed seeds and irrigation facilities, smallfarmers can once again grow crops. © People in Need
Agriculture in Syria? Thanks to distributed seeds and irrigation facilities, smallfarmers can once again grow crops. © People in Need
Preventing a lost generation: Welthungerhilfe is currently supporting five schools in Mardin, Nusaybin and Kilis in Turkey. © Lass
Preventing a lost generation: Welthungerhilfe is currently supporting five schools in Mardin, Nusaybin and Kilis in Turkey. © Lass

Before the civil war, Syria provide for itself and had a good level of education – all children attended school. In the fifth year of the civil war, however, the country finds itself in one of the biggest humanitarian crises of the post-war period. 12 million people are refugees, some two-thirds of them within their own country (UN OCHA, as of June 2015). Almost 5 million Syrians have fled to the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. Only a few, around 250,000, come to the EU.

Since November 2012, Welthungerhilfe has been providing humanitarian aid for Syrian civil war victims. Initially, within Syria. But with the increasing refugee streams into Turkey and Northern Iraq, as well as further displacements within Iraq, Welthungerhilfe has also been active in these countries. Coordinated out of the country office in Gaziantep, Turkey, since summer 2014, civil war victims and displaced persons in the region are now receiving support.

Our aid for refugees in Turkey

By June 2015, more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees had found refuge in Turkey – the number of unrecorded cases, however, lies at over 2 million. The capacities of the refugee camps are insufficient, and many people do not want to live in camps. As a result, around 85% of displaced persons live outside of the camps, the majority in the south-east of the country. Through its work, Welthungerhilfe is attempting to contribute to the survival of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Our work at a glance:

  • Food and warmth: Last winter, 15,000 refugee families, or around 90,000 people, received food and winter relief parcels.

  • Cash Card System: Each selected family receives a form of EC card, on to which a specific amount can be loaded every month. With this card, families shop locally and can thereby decide on their own provision at a time when their lives are otherwise determined by external factors. Since the middle of 2014, we have only been distributing food parcels in special cases.

  • Education: 80% of the children not living in the refugee camps are unable to attend school. In order to counteract this so-called ‘lost generation’, Welthungerhilfe is currently supporting five schools in Mardin, Nasaybin and Kilis. We are taking on teacher salaries, transport costs, renovation works, equipment and school supplies.

  • Advice: A further challenge for Syrians in Turkey is access to information. Welthungerhilfe is therefore supporting two community centres run by the NGOs ASAM and MSSP to provide advice, psycho-social support, language courses and other activities.

Northern Iraq: Food and infrastructure

Since September 2014, Welthungerhilfe has also been active in Northern Iraq, in the area known as the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). 250,000 Syrian refugees live there. In addition, there are around 145,000 Iraqi families who have fled from the terrorist organisation ‘Islamic State’ (IS) and are refugees in their own country. Together with local and international partners, we are helping through the distribution of food and winter relief parcels, camp management, and the reconstruction of incomplete buildings and destroyed infrastructure.

Video (April 2015): Food distribution in Syria by our partner PIN

Syria: Support of displaced persons within their own country

In Syria, our work is focused on providing people with food, seeds, winter relief, as well as the re-starting of the school system. For the majority of people, opportunities to earn money are scarce: Factories are closed, trade with neighbouring countries no longer takes place and agriculture lies idle. Together with our partners Hand in Hand for Syria and Big Heart, it is possible for us to support the most needy families in Syria with urgent humanitarian aid. How we are helping:

  • Seeds and tools: Together with People in Need and Big Heart, we are distributing seeds and tools to refugee families and smallfarmers, who can, thereby, help boost local food production. More than 30,000 people are benefiting from the distributions.

  • Flour for bakeries: As the formerly state-subsidised flour provision has broken down, the price of bread has risen by 1,000 percent. There is, however, still a network of active bakeries. In Aleppo and Idlib, Welthungerhilfe delivered flour and grain to them. In this way, access to basic food provision was ensured for 55,000 people.

  • Food: In addition, until April 2014, 4,200 households in the Syrian provinces of Idlib, Aleppo and Hama were supplied with food parcels over a five-month period. 21,000 households received free bread rations.

  • Winter relief: We delivered 5,600 winter relief parcels with warm clothes to Northern Syria.

  • Schools: In cooperation with PIN, we are supporting twelve temporary schools. Around 4,000 children are thus receiving an education and a slice of normality.

The aid measures benefit from revenues of the campaign "Wir helfen Flüchtlingen" ("We help refugees", web page in German only) and are financially supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentPeople in Need and Welthungerhilfe. We provide humanitarian aid whenever needed – impartially and without any political judgment.

Current reports
War-torn country - a literary journey through Syria

War-torn country - a literary journey through Syria

The town of the dead – a fictional journey

After 18 months in prison, Omar barely recognises his hometown in Syria.

Syria: Interview with Mathias Mogge

Syria: Interview with Mathias Mogge

Flow of refugees not slowing down

What is the situation in Syria? An interview with Mathias Mogge, Welthungerhilfe programme manager.

Syria: creating normality for children through schools

Syria: creating normality for children through schools

Getting away from civil war for a few hours

April 2013: Violence determines life in Aleppo in the north of Syria. Schools offer children a bit of normality.

Syria: catastrophic water supply

Syria: catastrophic water supply

People in Syria have difficulty obtaining clean drinking water

The supply of clean water in parts of Syria is catastrophic. Aid worker Rüdiger Ehrler reports.

Harsh winter in Syria

Harsh winter in Syria

Refugees receive warm clothes and blankets as protection against the cold.

Winter in Syria: Welthungerhilfe is supporting refugees with food, blankets and mattresses.

Conditions get worse

Conditions get worse

People in Syria are in need of warm clothes and food

In Aleppo the conditions for inhabitants and refugees are getting worse: the harsh winter takes its toll. Materials for heating and warm clothes are needed.

Syria: less waste, better hygiene

Syria: less waste, better hygiene

People are fighting the growing mountains of garbage.

When the infrastructure breaks, the waste mountains grown. In Aleppo in Syria, there's a clean-up underway!

Current debate

"Supporting Syria and the Region" – Together with other NGOs we signed the following demands:

Joint Briefing Statement Paper

Joint Position Paper

We are calling for a change in the treatment of refugees and a new German and European migration policy. 

Refugees: our demands to Germany and the EU

Infographic
Infographic: refugees worldwide
Infographic: refugees worldwide

Facts and figures about refugees

View infographic

Videos

(12/2015) Kilis, a city in Turkey has a population of 100,000 - plus 112,000 Syrian refugees. Samar Abdulateef is one of them.

(4/2016) Refugees in their own country: Welthungerhilfe assists IDPs in Iraq 

(4/2016) Yezidis in Iraq: Stories of fear and shelter 

Information for NGOs

Big quantities of humanitarian goods and relief items have been and will be sent to Syria and Iraq. The following guidelines describe the shipment procedures of humanitarian goods to Syria and Iraq from EU countries and are designed as a reference for other organisations (to the best of our knowledge).

Guidelines Importation of Humanitarian Goods, Syria

Guidelines Exportation of Humanitarian Goods, Iraq

Contact
Ton van Zutphen

Ton van Zutphen

Regional Director Turkey/Syria/Irak

Send an e-mail

Franco Chemula

Franco Chemula

Head of Transport
Office Gaziantep

Send an e-mail

Cooperation

In order to ensure that we reach those families most in need, in Turkey we are working closely with the authorities, social welfare offices, the Turkish Red Crescent and local NGOs. In Syria, we are cooperating with our Alliance2015 partner People in Need (PIN) and with local citizens councils and partner organisations. In Northern Iraq as well, local and international organisations are providing us with support.