Spotlight Syrian Refugees

Spotlight 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. According to the UNHCR more than 400,000 lives have already been lost and about 13.5 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, including nearly 5 million refugees in other countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, the Balkans, Greece or Yemen. Within Syria a further 6.6 million people have fled their homes. These numbers of displacement are expected to rise in the months to come.

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

Syria’s neighbouring countries have seen a dramatic increase in refugee numbers. Around 4,8 million Syrians have fled their country in search of safety. CARE is particularly concerned about the plight of women and children who are most vulnerable during crises and displacements.

For an overview of the crisis, download our Syria crisis factsheet  and CARE's impact numbers .

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. Click here to find all the CARE members and their donation pages.

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 and education services to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and  the Balkans. 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.

CARE in Jordan

Syrian refugees in Jordan: 657,000

CARE set up refugee centres in East Amman, Zarqa, Irbid and Mafraq, as well as providing community services in the Azraq refugee camp. CARE is also partnering with two community-based organisations in Azraq town. CARE volunteers, who are refugees themselves, assist in organizing and preparing distributions of relief supplies. We provide emergency cash assistance to pay for basic living costs, including rent, food, health services and essential household items. CARE also assists with vital information on how refugees can access further health, legal and social support.

In addition, we are providing psychosocial assistance to women, men and children helping them to cope with their experience of violence, flight and
loss of family and friends. CARE has helped families in Jordan to cope during the cold winter, distributing cash to buy heaters, blankets and fuel refills to refugees. As host communities have also been severely impacted by increased accommodation and living costs, CARE works with most vulnerable host families to address their needs.

CARE Jordan focuses on supporting refugees in urban areas of Jordan. In addition, CARE partners with UNHCR and other agencies to provide vital services in Azraq refugee camp, which since May 2016 has reached full capacity with hosting more than 50,000 people. CARE offers information to refugees as they arrive in the camp and runs community centres with a variety of recreational and psychosocial activities for women, men and children. The centres also serve as the main point of contact where refugees can report complaints or feedback. CARE also identifies community representatives and organizes refugee committees giving them a voice in camp decision making.

Read here our factsheet about CARE's work in the Azraq camp.

CARE in Lebanon

Syrian refugees in Lebanon: over 1 million

In Lebanon, CARE meets refugees’ most basic and pressing needs, mainly providing water, sanitation and hygiene assistance as well as non-food items and cash assistance in Beirut, Mount Lebanon and Northern Governorates.

This includes the improvement of drainage systems, distribution of sanitary items, and the provision of hygiene sessions. CARE also works with municipalities to improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure for refugees as well as for host communities. Previously, CARE has distributed clothes vouchers to Syrian refugee children living in informal tented settlements and collective centres in Mount Lebanon. CARE in Lebanon has developed an urban specific community based approach to improve the living conditions of vulnerable refugee and host communities. The Neighborhood Approach focuses on improvements to whole buildings and streets, communal spaces, rather than solely rehabilitation of individual family units.

In the winter, CARE has helped families in both Mount and North Lebanon regions to prepare for and cope with the cold winter, distributing cash for heaters and fuel, blankets and floor mats.

Read here our factsheet about CARE's work in the Lebanon.

CARE in Turkey

Syrian refugees in Turkey: 2.7 million

Following the huge influx of Syrian refugees in fall 2014, CARE immediately began assessing needs and coordinating with Turkish authorities and other organizations to support refugees with food, safe drinking water and hygiene items. Months later, massive humanitarian needs have not changed.

CARE is responding with much-needed cash assistance, hygiene promotion, dignity kits for women and the elderly, and establishing community groups that address protection issues, including psychosocial needs, early marriage, and gender-based violence. CARE is doing its best to meet the most pressing needs of urban refugees in the border towns of southern Turkey. However, the great number of refugees in the country ­­- ­­­­the biggest registered in any single country ­-  highlights the significant gaps between needs and response that still persist, including meeting basic food and nutrition needs, health, protection, water safety and hygiene.   

CARE in Egypt

Syrian refugees in Egypt: 117,000+

CARE raises awareness among the refugees of sexual exploitation and other forms of gender-based violence to protect them from any form of abuse and raise awareness for legal regulations in Egypt in regards
to violence. CARE also offers legal assistance to individual cases.

In collaboration with different partners and specialists CARE empowers family members to oppose harmful practice and conducts special sessions on child abuse for children and parents.

CARE also assists refugees coping with their trauma through psychosocial programs and phone helplines for women and men who have faced gender-based violence. Psychosocial support can be in the form of therapy sessions and support groups as well as through creative approaches such as arts therapy, drama and sports activities.

CARE in the Balkans

Estimated number of refugees and asylum seekers in the Balkans: 541,500

In 2015, more than 579,500 refugees and migrants were registered as passing through the Western Balkan Route and between January 1st and 18th of February 2016 97,400 refugees and migrants were estimated to have entered Croatia, and 87,600 people arrived in Serbia. The number of refugees currently stationed in the area is large as many are still waiting to cross the border into Europe.

CARE is responding by distributing food packages, as well as warm clothes, raincoats and shoes for in preparation for winter. CARE is also providing basic hygiene items. CARE has been supporting the deployment of volunteers to one-stop centers for refugees as well as providing interpreters and information services and capacity building in the centers.


CARE in Greece

With the influx of refugees to Europe, CARE started assisting refugees stranded in Greece. From 2016 to March 2018, CARE and partner organizations supported those stranded in Greece by providing debit cash cards, legal and psychosocial assistance, specialized accommodation for vulnerable women and young men and very much needed support with translations and bureaucratic processes. As CARE was phasing out from Greece, we made all efforts to ensure the continuation of the services we have been offering by handing over these projects to local organizations, most of them receiving funding from UNHCR. CARE has established its mission in Greece as a temporary emergency response and it is welcoming the increasing role played by local organizations and the municipalities, while it is still looking forward to a more strategic leadership to be taken up by the government. Since 2016, CARE has assisted more than 18,600 persons in Greece. CARE remains committed to continue monitoring the situation of refugees in Greece and will remain in close cooperation with local partners and the key actors from the local network in order to be able to respond as soon as possible if needed again in the future. For more information on our programming in Greece please read the interview of Aleksandra Godziejewska, CARE’s Head of Mission in Greece during the peak of the refugee crisis from 2016-2018. Here, she reflects on progress and personal challenges.

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