The conflict which has been raging in Syria for several years has triggered one of the world's most pressing humanitarian crises. Millions of people have fled their homes and are now displaced within Syria and in neighbouring countries. The Federal Foreign Office is supporting emergency projects run by German non-governmental organisations, the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Humanitarian need in Syria and refugee situation in neighbouring countries
Of Syria's original population of some 22 million, 13.5 million require humanitarian assistance, more than six million have fled their homes and some of these people have been displaced several times within Syria. There are more than five million people who are particularly badly affected as they are very difficult to reach due to the ongoing fighting and action by the parties to the conflict which is hampering access. More than 900,000 people in besieged areas often receive no assistance for months on end. Malnutrition and a lack of medical care have claimed many lives. People are dependent above all on assistance in the form of food and drinking water, healthcare, accommodation and schooling.
Since the civil war began, almost five million Syrians have fled to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Only a small number is living in official refugee camps, the vast majority is living in urban and rural communities. Most are dependent on humanitarian assistance, the most pressing need being in the form of food supplies, accommodation and healthcare, as well as schooling. As the civil war continues and the time people spend displaced lengthens, the aid programmes aiming to help people build a life for themselves are becoming more important.
Germany’s humanitarian aid
The Federal Foreign Office has been providing humanitarian assistance in Syria and neighbouring countries since the start of the crisis, contributing to international and cross-sectoral aid projects run by the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and German NGOs. Our efforts focus on helping provide food and drinking water, healthcare, accommodation, protection for particularly vulnerable groups and schooling for the children affected by the conflict. This humanitarian assistance has been complemented by recovery and rehabilitation measures organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Germany is the third largest bilateral donor of humanitarian assistance and, in 2016 alone, made available around 638 million euros for people in Syria and neighbouring countries affected by the conflict. Since the Syria crisis began, Germany has made available more than 2.5 billion euros, of which 1.25 billion euros has been used for humanitarian assistance, 1.15 billion euros for recovery and rehabilitation and bilateral support and more than 137 million euros for crisis management.
On 4 February 2016, Germany co-hosted a conference on Syria in London. With a sum of 2.3 billion euros for the period 2016-2018, the Federal Government made the biggest bilateral pledge at the conference. Humanitarian assistance for the people in Syria and the neighbouring countries will remain a priority of German foreign policy.