Millions of people in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq are affected by the war in Syria and the consequences of the rule of the so-called Islamic State (IS). What started with peaceful protests in Syria in 2011 quickly turned into a cruel war. Almost half of the Syrian population have been displaced due to the fighting. After years of violence, an end is still not in sight.
Disastrous humanitarian situation after years of conflict
Before the civil war, Syria provided for itself and had a good level of education – all children attended school. After years of civil war, however, the country finds itself in one of the biggest humanitarian crises of the post-war period. More than 5 million people have fled from Syria, 6.3 million are displaced in their own country (figures from July 2017). A substantial improvement of the humanitarian situation is not in sight. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), 13,5 million Syrians are currently dependent on humanitarian aid.
Welthungerhilfe has been providing humanitarian aid for Syrian civil war victims since November 2012. With the increasing refugee streams into Turkey and Northern Iraq, as well as further displacements within Iraq, Welthungerhilfe has also become 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. Since November 2016 Welthungerhilfe has been operating another country office in the city of Dohuk in Northern Iraq.
In Syria, our work is focused on the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo. 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, IHSAN and People in Need (PIN) Welthungerhilfe is supporting families most in need with urgent humanitarian aid. How we are helping:
Bread distribution and support of bakeries in the Aleppo and Idlib governorates (by our partners PIN and IHSAN)
Food vouchers in the Aleppo and Idlib governorates (by our partners PIN and IHSAN)
Distribution of vouchers for seeds, fertilizers and tools to internally displaced persons in Aleppo and Idlib, who can help to boost the local food production. A small number of people are trained in vegetable growing, so they can pass on their knowledge to other people (in collaboration with PIN and IHSAN).
- Rehabilitation of water pipes and a water station in three project regions in Idlib; Training of local water management staff (supported by the United Nations and in cooperation with our partner Hand in Hand for Syria)
Donors: Federal Foreign Office, UN OCHA Turkey Humanitarian Fund
By March 2017, more than 2.9 million Syrian refugees had found refuge in Turkey (UN OCHA). The capacities of the refugee camps are insufficient, and many people do not want to live in camps. As a result, a large part of the displaced people lives outside of the camps, the majority in the south-east of the country or in large cities such as Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir. Through its work, Welthungerhilfe is attempting to contribute to the survival of Syrian and Iraqi refugees:
Support of community centres in Istanbul, Mardin and Gaziantep. The centres are managed by local Turkish partners.
Food security by cash cards, individual advice for refugees and Cash for Work
Support of school transport
Support of „Arts Anywhere“, a local organisation arranging art projects, workshops and events for children and adults
Setting up of a laundrette with the help of private donations
Donors: Federal Foreign Office, GIZ, own resources, private donations
Video (2015): Being a Syrian refugee in Turkey
Video (2015): Being a Syrian refugee in Turkey
What aid measurements for refugees are being implemented in Turkey? Welthungerhilfe locally distributes "Cash Cards", so that Syrian refugees can buy food and other essentials.
Syrian refugees comprise around one fifth of the population in Lebanon; according to the UNHCR, more than 1 million refugees are registered there. Together with our Alliance2015 partner Concern Worldwide, Welthungerhilfe is working in the province of Akka in the north of Lebanon near the Syrian border. The project goal is to strengthen the resilience of Lebanese and Syrian people in the marginalised region affected by the war in Syria. How we help:
- Repair and maintenance of water and wastewater networks
- Training of about 1,500 people in agriculture, support for access to markets for agricultural products
- Psycho-social support and training in areas such as trauma counselling and stress management
Donors: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Since August 2014, the Islamic State (IS) has advanced in the northwest of the country and driven more than 3 million people. Around 11 million people depend on humanitarian aid. HEre you will find more information about our work in Iraq.
Alliance2015 for optimal aid
The people affected by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq are in urgent need of support. To meet the needs of the suffering population at best, we are working hand in hand with other organisations. Alliance2015 is an strategical association of seven European development organisations. Since 2012, Welthungerhilfe is in the field together with the Alliance-partners ACTED, Cesvi, Concern Worldwide, Hivos und People in Need and supports people in the region.
The current annual report of Welthungerhilfe outlines the latest activities of Alliance2015 in Syria and the surrounding countries, affected by the war.
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).
In order to ensure that we reach those families most in need, in Turkey we are working closely with the public authorities, social welfare offices, the Turkish Red Crescent and local NGOs. In Syria, we are cooperating with our Alliance2015 partner People in Need (PIN) amongst others, as well as with local citizens councils and partner organisations. In Northern Iraq as well, local and international organisations are providing us with support.