The war in Syria has been raging since 2011, driving over 11 million people from their homes, five million of whom have fled abroad. Over 13 million people have been affected by the conflict and are dependent on humanitarian aid. Emergency aid is still required, but at the same time more long-term solutions are also necessary.
For the past five years we have been supporting our partner organizations in their work helping the victims of the Syria conflict. But what is the best way to help these people?
Our policy is to continue to provide emergency aid where this is possible and effective, at the same time looking for more long-term ways of bringing stability and autonomy to the refugees’ lives.
Emergency aid, where necessary
We continue to provide emergency aid in the war zones. For example, in Aleppo, Homs and Damascus we support projects run by our partner relief organizations Caritas Switzerland, Medair and Terre des hommes – helping children worldwide. These organizations distribute meals, improve water supply and healthcare, and protect children from abuse and violence.
We also help war victims in Iraq. Our partner relief organizations Medair, Terre des hommes – helping children worldwide and Save the Children distribute cash and ensure there is access to clean water in the refugee camps.
Long-term support, where possible
We commissioned a study to look at innovative and sustainable ways of helping the people who have fled to Syria’s neighbouring countries: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. The study showed how and under what circumstances refugees can best be helped to become more autonomous and less dependent on external aid.
An example of this type of sustainable approach is the money-for-work project run by our partner relief organization HEKS and supported by Swiss Solidarity. Refugees in a Palestinian refugee camp can earn a bit of money when they do something to help the community. In Lebanon, our partner relief organization Solidar Suisse trains young refugees in construction skills, which they can then apply to build accommodation for other refugees. And they are paid for doing this work.
These projects build on the refugees’ potential and give them tools to deal with the crisis. However, such projects are only feasible if the local conditions are right. For example, many refugees are not permitted to work in the countries they are living in. Fortunately, we are observing some improvement in the situation. The changes are slow, but they are opening up new ways in which refugees can be helped.
Swiss Solidarity and its partner relief organizations are committed to helping the victims of the Syria conflict over the long term. But in order to be able to continue our support over the coming months, we need your donation:
Our support for victims of the Syria crisis since 2012
- Number of projects: 14 in Syria, 21 in Lebanon, 20 in Jordan, 3 in Turkey, 16 in Iraq
- Project funding totalling CHF 44.3 million
- Our partner organizations: ADRA, Caritas Switzerland, Handicap International, HEKS, Medair, Doctors without Borders, Swiss Red Cross, Solidar Suisse, Terre des hommes – helping children worldwide, Save the Children