How the UK is responding to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighbouring countries, and how you can help


The crisis in Syria is gravely concerning. Hundreds of people are being killed or wounded every day and millions have been forced to flee.

The UK has committed £348 million to help those affected by the conflict. This is the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis. It will provide support including food, medical care and relief items for over a million people including those affected by the fighting in Syria and to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

A million children forced to flee fighting
The number of children forced to flee Syria has now reached 1 million, the United Nations has said today in a new report.

The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) and children’s charity (UNICEF) say millions more also need help within the country.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

As we saw again this week, children in Syria are being exposed to unimaginable horrors. These children are extremely vulnerable and will be amongst the most at risk as fighting continues.

One million child refugees, the majority younger than 11, is a truly shocking milestone but the world must not forget the estimated 3.1 million children still in need of help inside Syria.



The UK is working with the UNHCR, UNICEF and partners to help children caught up in the crisis – from food and clothing to education and trauma counselling. Across the region, this includes:

education for almost 35,000 children
counselling for 13,000 child refugees and their families
emergency food for over 285,000 people a month
UN reports Syria death toll now above 100,000
Responding to the United Nations report of deaths reaching 100,000 in the conflict in Syria, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

“The deaths of 100,000 people as a result of the conflict in Syria demonstrate the scale of the ongoing tragedy and the desperate need for real action from the international community.

“The British Government continues to lead the international response with medical help, food, shelter and clean water. Other donors must now honour their funding promises and it is time that all parties to the conflict allow humanitarian access to all areas of Syria.

“I call on all sides to respect the work of humanitarian agencies and to move towards a political resolution to this crisis.”

How you can help: Disasters Emergency Committee Syria Crisis Appeal
Responding to the launch of the DEC Syria Crisis Appeal, International Development Secretary, Justine Greening said:

“We welcome the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal to do more for people in desperate need. This conflict continues to cause appalling suffering. Over four million people in Syria are in urgent need of assistance and a million refugees need humanitarian support.

“The British Government has led the international response with medical help, food, shelter and clean water but more needs to be done. Other donors must honour their funding promises and it is time that all parties to the conflict allow humanitarian access to all areas of Syria.”
How the UK is helping
In Syria, UK aid has already delivered:

£114 million of assistance to help people affected by conflict, including in opposition held and contested areas
Food for over 156,000 people through our partner the World Food Programme
Shelter and relief items to over 305,000 persons affected by the violence
In neighbouring countries, British support has already provided:

£59 million of assistance to help Syrian refugees and host communities in the region
Safe drinking water and sanitation services (toilets and latrines) to almost 100,000 people in Jordan and Lebanon
Shelter/essential relief item supplies for more than 84,000 people
Please see the latest factsheet for full details of the UK’s humanitarian assistance.
Factsheet | DFID Humanitarian Aid Programme Summary: Syria Response (as of 12 August 2013)
PDF, 843KB, 4 pages
Views from the field
Philip Upson reports from Syrian refugee camps in Turkey where the onset of winter is making life harder for the tens of thousands who have fled the violence.

In pictures: How the UK is helping meet humanitarian needs in the region

Hear from our staff working on the ground to help coordinate UK aid Podcast: Our humanitarian adviser Liz Hughes in Jordan (Nov 2012)

Facts and stats

6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria
over 4.25 million people have been driven out of their homes by the fighting to other areas of Syria
there are now over 1.9 million refugees in neighbouring countries
total UK humanitarian funding committed to the response is £348 million to date
our humanitarian assistance is provided through neutral and impartial agencies and is wholly separate from UK support for the opposition.
all UK funding is going to humanitarian agencies with a proven ability to operate in Syria and neighbouring countries
The UK remains at the forefront of international efforts to support an effective response, led by the United Nations.

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  • austinvital

    Help from UK —