After 13 years the war and humanitarian crisis continues. Let's not forget about Syria

Published: Mar 14, 2024 Reading time: 3 minutes
Syrian girl is washing hands at non formal education center in Syrian camp.
© Photo: Petr Štefan

It has been 13 years since war erupted in Syria. In the shadow of a world preoccupied with new crises, including conflict and natural disasters, the plight of Syrians finds itself increasingly relegated to the background. The international community's focus on Syria's persistent and growing anguish has dropped significantly. This lack of visibility has led to decreased humanitarian funding. Amidst this fading spotlight, the harsh reality faced by millions of Syrians continues to deteriorate. At the same time, the suffering of the Syrian people grows deeper and more complex; the situation in Syria demands the focused commitment of the global community more than ever.

In 2024, a staggering 16.7 million individuals in Syria are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. This number is a significant rise from the 15.3 million reported in 2023. Among these, 5.5 million people are displaced, struggling for survival in conditions far removed from the minimum standards of human dignity, with over 2 million residing in what can only be described as last-resort sites. This escalation of need occurs in the wake of a decade-long conflict that has relentlessly torn at the social and economic fabric of the nation, compounded by the devastating impact of recent earthquakes that have further shattered the lives of countless Syrians. These natural disasters have claimed nearly 5,900 lives and injured more than 12,800, exacerbating the vulnerabilities of a population already besieged by hardships they are already facing.

As life-sustaining infrastructure crumbles under the weight of 13 years of war and neglect and the effects of an earthquake, Syrians face an alarming increase in health risks and malnutrition with water and sanitation systems. Additionally, healthcare services are overwhelmed by the demand and the lack of investment. The country faces recurrent disease outbreaks, and some regions are witnessing emergency-level Global Acute Malnutrition rates, and a prolonged water crisis, with over 12.9 million people needing food assistance. 

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Additionally, the economic crisis has deepened, with the Syrian Pound losing half its value, skyrocketing inflation, and the cost of necessities quadrupling, driving millions into poverty and increasing dependence on humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, the persistence of conflict and military operations severely hampers humanitarian efforts to reach those in dire need, rendering access to essential services and assistance an insurmountable challenge for many.

Even though the humanitarian situation is worsening and the needs are increasing due to issues such as reduced funding and ongoing armed conflicts, we continue to support Syrians during this crisis. On average, we reach around 200,000 people in North Syria each month.

However, as the disaster continues, the needs are increasing and the need for humanitarian aid is getting bigger. We call on the global community not to let Syria become a forgotten tragedy. The numbers we present are a call to action and a reminder of the urgent need for continued and enhanced support for the millions whose lives have been shattered by conflict, disaster, and economic collapse. At People in Need, we are determined to continue supporting Syrians. We will work to ensure that they are not forgotten, their voice is heard, and their suffering is alleviated.

We are grateful for the support of our partners (The Aid Fund for Northern Syria, Stichting Vluchteling, European Union, DG NEAR, USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Swiss Solidarity (SWS) via the Alliance2015 partner Helvetas, and PIN's Club of Friends and SOS Syria, Syria Cross-border Humanitarian Fund, Save the Children, SDC, and LEARN).

Autor: Muhammet Necip Şağar, PIN's Communication Manager for Northwest Syria and Türkiye

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