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Helping Syrian refugees

As governments around the world discuss the escalation of violence in Syria, CARE remains gravely concerned about the impact of the conflict on civilians. We call on all parties for a peaceful political resolution. It is now more urgent than ever that political differences are set aside, and that the plans for the Geneva peace conference are finalised. More than 100,000 lives have already been lost and over 9.3 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including more than 2.6 million refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. Within Syria a further 6.5 million people have fled their homes. 

CARE calls on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians, and to facilitate the delivery of much needed humanitarian assistance.

Syria’s neighboring countries have seen a dramatic increase in refugee numbers. More than 2.6 million Syrians have fled their country in search of safety. CARE is particularly concerned about the plight of women and children who make up 75 percent of the number of refugees, and are most vulnerable during crises and displacements.

The crisis is escalating day by day. The needs of Syrian refugees and hosting communities are growing. So is CARE International’s emergency response. But our resources are stretched.

For an overview of the crisis, download our Syria crisis factsheet.

To date, we have secured less than 25 per cent of the US$ 200 million funding that we need for our response. We need your help. Any donation, no matter how small, will help us reach and support those most vulnerable, caught up in the biggest humanitarian crisis of the 21st century. Please donate here.


How is CARE responding?

CARE is working with host country governments, the United Nations, and international and local organizations to help refugees and host communities meet their most urgent needs and protect their dignity. CARE is providing life-saving services to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon and to people affected by the crisis in Syria. As the conflict escalates, we are also conducting activities in Egypt and potentially Yemen to help Syrian refugees there as well. CARE is an impartial and neutral organization. Our support to families affected by the crisis in Syria is based on humanitarian needs alone, no matter which religion, political affiliation or ethnicity people belong to.

Read our factsheet on CARE's response to the Syria crisis over the last three years.

In Jordan: To date, CARE has reached more than 250,000 Syrians, providing cash assistance to pay for basic living costs, including rent, food and clothes; essential relief items and vital information on how to access further health care and social support. In addition, CARE has reached over 13,000 people in host communities with emergency relief supplies, including emergency cash, to support their gracious efforts in hosting the growing influx of Syrians desperately seeking safety.

CARE set up a refugee centres in East Amman, Zarqa, Irbid and Mafraq, where CARE volunteers, who are refugees themselves, assist in organising and preparing distributions and provide information on access to support services. 

Over the next two years, CARE aims to:

  • Provide emergency cash, food and other critical supplies;
  • Support refugees to seek assistance that will address their immediate needs;
  • Assist refugees and host communities with livelihood opportunities and vocational training that will help them earn a living; and
  • Support refugees in displacement camp with food, shelter, water and sanitation.

CARE is also working with the UN and other agencies in Azraq, a new refugee camp that opened at the end of April 2014. CARE’s activities in the new Azraq camp are three-fold:

  • Providing essential information in reception area to newly arrived refugees. CARE will be the key agency to provide vital information to refugees upon arrival, including information on the structure of the camp, where to access services, refugees’ rights. In addition, CARE staff based in reception area will also link refugees to our four community centres and outreach activities across the camp.  
  • Establishing community-based activities in our four community centres and eight friendly spaces . Activities provided through the centres will include: provision of essential information; psychosocial support; case management and follow-up for the most vulnerable cases to ensure that refugee families can access essential services and receive the support that they need; recreational activities such as sports, drama, arts and craft activities; training and workshops on topics such as conflict resolution, household management, parenting skills, or stress management.  
    Activities will take place both in the centres and outreach, across the camp. 
  • Assisting community mobilisation. CARE will identify community leaders and set up committees so that refugee representatives can be the voice of their communities. The refugee representatives will not only help develop a well-functioning, supportive community but will also ensure the dignity, well-being, and safety of the camp’s residents. 


In Lebanon, there are over 1,200,000 Syrian refugees. CARE Lebanon meets refugees' most basic and pressing needs, mainly providing water, sanitation, shelter, and cash assistance in Beirut and in the areas of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli. 

In the winter, CARE helps families to prepare and cope with the cold winter, distributing cash, heaters, fuel vouchers, blankets and floor mats.

Over the next two years, our response will include:

  • Providing access to water and sanitation
  • Supporting refugees to seek assistance so that they are able to address their immediate needs;
  • Providing access to shelter for newly arrived refugees and crisis-displaced families;
  • Assisting refugees and host communities with livelihood opportunities and vocational training that will help them earn a living;
  • Supporting refugees and host communities with access to water and sanitation;
  • Ensuring support for host communities that have been overwhelmed by the crisis; and
  • Providing psychosocial support, protecting the rights of vulnerable women and helping prevent gender-based violence.

In Egypt, CARE raises awareness among the 150,000 refugees about sexual exploitation and other forms of gender-based violence to protect them from any form of abuse. CARE also provides psychosocial assistance to those in need. Further plans include:

  • Providing cash and other material assistance to meet refugees’ basic needs;
  • Creating awareness of sexual exploitation (including forced marriage) and other forms of gender-based violence and empowering family members to oppose harmful practices; and
  • Helping Egyptian communities support Syrian refugees, including psychosocial programs.

In Yemen, CARE has begun a profiling exercise of Syrian refugees arriving in Yemen, especially in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden. To date this has involved making more concrete linkages with host communities and trust building with local authorities and communities as well as incoming refugees.Initial findings from Yemen reveal that refugee families are mainly concerned about accommodation, as they are struggling to cover high rental costs. Families also reported having to beg in order to be able to cover living costs. To date, the majority of refugee families reported that they haven’t received any assistance.

It is now more important than ever that political differences are set aside and that a peaceful political resolution is reached through dialogue.
Gareth Richards, Regional Director Middle East and Northern Africa, CARE
I used to own two houses and ran my own shop. Now, everything I owned is gone. I can't work because of the injuries I sustained when I was in prison. I was tortured. It's painful for me to walk. Things are very expensive here, the rent is very high. CARE helped us pay some of our rent, but we still can't even afford to get the basics.
Ali, Syrian refugee in Jordan.
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