War has forced more than half of Syria’s population to flee their homes. Children and families who’ve become refugees and millions trapped inside Syria need help right now.
Now in its 10th year, the conflict in Syria is the world's largest humanitarian crisis. More than six million Syrians are internally displaced and over 5.6 million people have been forced to seek refuge outside Syria.
In Syria alone, almost 13.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, five million of whom are children. World Vision has been assisting children and families affected by the conflict since it began.
The Syrian civil war officially began on 15 March 2011. Since then, brutal conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of people, torn the nation apart and set back living standards by decades. Health centres and hospitals, schools and other basic infrastructure have been damaged and destroyed. Once busy marketplaces have been reduced to rubble.
In Jordan and Lebanon, resettlement has become long term, altering the traditional demographics and patterns of life in cities and towns amidst tension and competition over jobs and basic services. Though armed violence has declined in Iraq and over 4.2 million people are returning to their homes, 1.7 million people, including 800,000 children, still remain displaced.
In early 2019, the Syrian army and various military groups continue to fight for control over territory in the country's north. The war has become a sectarian conflict, with religious groups opposing each other. The conflict has deeply affected the entire Middle East region.
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World Vision’s initial response to the crisis focused on supporting the resettlement and basic needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. World Vision is now responding in five countries – Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq – and works beyond families’ basic needs to tackle complex social problems that affect children’s rights and individual resilience. In 2018, we provided assistance to 1.2 million people including 700,000 children.
This assistance included:
Most of the refugee population, especially children, are starting to reclaim their lives and livelihoods through education. To help them reach their goals, we have helped construct schools, rehabilitate education infrastructure, and provide livelihood assistance to severely affected communities.
Syrian refugee children aged 3-6 attend a World Vision Early Childhood Education program at Rajab in Lebanon. For many of the children attending this is their first experience of directed group activities.