Four years on, and the conflict in Syria shows no signs of ending. More than 16 million Syrians need help urgently. Many are seeking shelter from the fighting and the cold in damaged buildings, while others have become refugees in neighbouring countries.
Red Cross Red Crescent is helping more than 3.5 million Syrians in practical, life-saving ways:
The International Committee of the Red Cross has been able to cross frontlines and deliver humanitarian aid to areas like Aleppo, Homs and rural Damascus, as well as assisting the millions of Syrians who have fled to neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. Red Cross calls on all parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law (the laws of war) and refrain from harming civilians as well as protect medical personnel and allow humanitarian workers to bring help.
News from Syria
Volunteers like Mohammed are helping their neighbours keep their health and dignity in the midst of Syria's crisis. Read more »
Ameena is trying to raise two sons in the midst of Syria's conflict. Read more »
Volunteers Bassem and Sarah spent their wedding day handing out relief supplies. Read more »
Meet the first baby born in our hospital in a refugee camp in Jordan. Read more »
Syria crisis - your questions answered
What is happening in Syria right now?
Four years of intense violence have cost more than half Syria's population their homes. More than 12 million people are sheltering where they can: in abandoned buildings, with friends and relatives, while 3.8 million have become refugees in neighbouring countries. The economy has contracted, infrastructure and healthcare facilities have been severely damaged, and more than 75% of Syrians live in poverty. The situation in Syria is considered the largest humanitarian crisis in decades.
What is Red Cross Red Crescent doing?
The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is providing humanitarian assistance to those made vulnerable by conflict and emergencies. Working closely with Syrian Arab Red Crescent, we provide the basic necessities people need to survive: from food and water to medical care and hygiene items.
We are also supporting Syrians who have become refugees in neighbouring Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq, as well as the communities hosting them. This includes food, water, health care and shelter.
How are funds from the Syria Crisis Appeal being used?
Funds raised will provide humanitarian support to people and communities affected by the Syrian crisis by:
- providing ambulance and first aid services and support to health care and clinics
- distribution of food, water and other relief items through Syrian Arab Red Crescent
- working with our Red Cross Red Crescent partners in neighbouring countries in providing assistance with emergency health, relief and recovery support to displaced people
- sending specialist aid workers to assist in assessments and relief and recovery operations.
Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal and administration costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency response and recovery initiatives in the Middle East. Any interest earned on donations will be invested back into the appeal.
Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.
Can I donate items like blankets?
We are unable to accept donated goods. As with all emergency appeals, the best and most effective way to help people is by donating cash. The cost of shipping donated items from Australia would far exceed the cost of purchasing them in bulk closer to Syria, from quality suppliers, and packing and delivering them from our Syrian warehouse.
How do I find out about family or friends in the region?
People concerned for the welfare of family and friends in the region, should first attempt to contact them directly. If the person overseas is an Australian Citizen, they should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (for enquirers in Australia) or +612 6261 3305 (for enquirers overseas). For other enquiries, contact our Tracing Service.
Learn about our work in international emergencies »