Syria Crisis

About the Crisis

Syrian Refugees

The Syrian crisis is the worst humanitarian emergency of our time. More than two-thirds of Syria’s pre-war population—17 million people—is in need of humanitarian assistance.

Since the conflict began in 2011, an average of 50 Syrian families have been displaced every hour of every day.  Millions have been forced to flee their homes to other parts of Syria or have fled to those nations who have generously opened their doors to Syrians in need. Others are risking their lives on the fierce seas or packing themselves into the sealed trucks of smugglers in the hope of finding refuge further afield.

Yet the tragedy of this conflict falls most heavily on the smallest shoulders. Right now, two million children inside Syria and 700,000 more across the region are out of school. Without school and growing up amid conflict, we’re at risk of losing an entire generation of children to this crisis in a region that can ill-afford to lose youth to despair. Despite ongoing conflict, international humanitarian organizations are on the ground, working to provide food, clean water, shelter, medical care and warm clothing to millions of Syrians every month.

Details About the Ongoing Response Efforts

Additional Resources

More information on the U.S. government’s humanitarian response to Syria can be found here.

Additional information on humanitarian relief organizations can be found on ReliefWeb, a humanitarian information portal run by the United Nations.


USAID created the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) in 1988 one month after Hurricane Gilbert made landfall as a Category 5 storm that affected 10 countries. An outpouring of unsolicited donations took up space needed to stage and deliver life-saving relief supplies, and USAID and other responders spent valuable time managing unneeded clothing, expired medicine, and other non-critical items. USAID established the Center to educate the public about the advantages of giving monetary donations to relief organizations and the downside of donating unsolicited material goods USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) leads and coordinates the U.S. government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 65 disasters in more than 50 countries every year. Learn More About USAID/OFDA

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