CARE's Response to the Crisis in Syria

CARE's Response to the Crisis in Syria

Publication info


CARE is working to help Syrians meet their most urgent needs and protect their dignity. We are on the ground in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen and Syria, collaborating with partners and helping people displaced by the conflict and the communities hosting them. Here's an overview of the assistance we've been able to provide to date:


To date, CARE has reached more than 395,000 refugees from Syria. CARE set up refugee centers in East Amman, Zarqa, Irbid and Mafraq. CARE volunteers assist in organizing and preparing distributions of relief supplies. Many of the volunteers in the centers are refugees themselves, who have been trained by CARE to provide assistance, case management, vital information and psychological support to refugees. We're conducting trainings with Syrian volunteers so they learn about CARE's work, their rights, services available to them, financial management skills and other useful information they can share with people in their communities. This activity seeks to empower vulnerable and displaced populations and help them avoid scams and predatory practices that refugees could face when entering a new environment. 

CARE also assists with vital information on how refugees can access further health, legal and social support. In addition to daily information provision sessions in the hubs, CARE has reached 24,000 Syrian refugees with SMS texts containing important information about health, protection as well as contact information of main service providers. 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 opened four "Safe Spaces" psychosocial centers with almost 3,000 men, women and children a month participating in psychosocial training. 

We provide cash assistance to pay for basic living costs, including rent, food and essential household items. Since June 2012, 

• CARE reached more than 237,000 people, and more than 25,000 Jordanians through the distribution of emergency cash
• CARE distributed more than US$ 2,700,000 in cash
• The typical amount of payment per family is US$ 180 
• The maximum amount of emergency cash assistance available for most vulnerable cases is US$ 550

CARE helps 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. To date, CARE has reached over 15,000 Jordanians and more than 90,000 Syrian refugees with emergency and winterization cash assistance.

CARE Jordan focuses on supporting refugees in urban areas of Jordan. In addition, CARE partnered with the UNHCR and other agencies to open a new refugee camp, Azraq, which will house 130,000 people. CARE will be responsible for providing essential information to newly arrived refugees, including information on the structure of the camp, where to access services like education, medical support and food and will inform refugees’ about their rights. CARE will also provide psychosocial support and follow-up with vulnerable cases and setting up refugee committees within the camp so that they will be the voice of their communities.

We had great hopes and dreams. But then we had to leave our homeland and our dreams behind. Volunteering for CARE gives us hope.

- Hadi, a Syrian refugee and volunteer

Lebanon was the first country to welcome refugees from Syria - both Syrians and Palestinians - and currently has the highest number of refugees in the region. Both refugees and host communities are in need of assistance. The cost of living for refugees in the country is high - rents are expensive, water supplies are inadequate, and it's costly to assess health centers and transport children to school. As a result, families come up short every month. In Lebanon, CARE meets refugees’ most basic and pressing needs, mainly providing water, sanitation, shelter, non-food items and cash assistance in Beirut and in the areas of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli. This includes the improvement of drainage systems, distribution of sanitary items, and the provision of health education sessions. CARE also works with municipalities to improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure for refugees as well as for host communities. We have constructed more than 20 latrines, installed more than 100 tanks, held more than 180 hygiene promotion sessions and distributed more than 5,200 hygiene kits. 

CARE Lebanon has been distributing packages to newly arrived refugees that contains basic essential items such as matresses, blankets, kitchen sets, baby items and hygiene kits. With the money raised during the "Dead-to-Red" marathon, clothing vouchers were purchased for 267 children living in collective shelters and tent settlements.

Last winter, we helped thousands of families prepare for the cold winter months with a kit that includes five blankets, a heater or the cash equivalant, a carpet and a monthly allowance to cover heating costs. A total of US$ 1,476,520 was distributed for fuel and heaters. In addition to these distributions, CARE  helped families living in tents and collective situations (sharing rooms in schools and abandoned buildings, for example) with additional support. 

CARE International in Lebanon has been able to support more than 33,000 people so far.

In Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta and Ismailia, CARE is working on breaking stereotypes concerning the Syrian community and on promoting better integration and acceptance with host communities. We also are working to create awareness about sexual exploitation, including forced marriage, and referring survivors of gender-based violence to quality health and psychological services (and emergency shelter if needed). CARE is also helping families with emergency cash assistance and identifying opportunities for steady employment. In December, we held a day of awareness for Syrian refugees, both children and adults, during which a reputable psychologist spoke about trauma and children participated in learning activities about child abuse. Most participants were very affected by the lectures, and many have expressed their need for individual  psychological support (which they are receiving by psychologist specializing in sexual abuse). We plan to reach 10,000 refugees with CARE's services in the coming months. 

We continue to assess the needs of refugees in urban settings and are preparing interventions to address the immediate needs of shelter, health, education and documentation.

Inside Syria, 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Approximately 6.5 million people are displaced within the country's borders and another 5,000 flee their homes every day. Through our partners, CARE is providing lifesaving emergency assistance to people affected by the conflict in Syria, reaching 182,000 to date. We have provided food, baby items, hygiene kits and winterization kits and other emergency supplies to families; psychological and social support to children; and equipment, medicine and support for hospital obstetric care.  

With our partners in Syria, CARE is also providing food assistance through the distribution of food baskets and carrying out water sanitation activities including the rehabilitation of a water treatment plant and the distribution of water purification tablets to households. 

CARE is impartial and neutral and we do not take sides. We provide assistance based on need alone.

HEALTH ALERT: The news of a polio outbreak in Syria - the first in 14 years - is yet another tragic reality millions of Syrians are facing. With almost 2.8 million people seeking shelter from the conflict in neighboring countries, CARE is helping refugees receive the proper information and immunization to protect them from polio. In our four refugee centers in Jordan, we're letting Syrians know where they can receive a polio vaccination, which is especially important for infants. We also are helping people protect themselves from the upcoming winter – a time when immune systems weaken and when diseases can spread quickly.

These children live in makeshift shelters and tents on the outskirts of Amman, Jordan, where hundreds of Syrian refugees have moved after they can no longer afford to pay rent in the city. Most of the children are out of school - either because they need to work to help their families or because their parents can't afford transportation costs.