How to Help the Refugees in Syria

How to Help the Refugees in Syria

With the imminent threat of a US military intervention seemingly receding, the world's focus should be on aiding the increasingly desperate Syrian population.


Since the civil war in Syria broke out two years ago, the United Nations estimates that more than six and a half million people have been displaced. Of those, more than two million Syrians have fled their country, according to the United Nations refugee agency. With nowhere to go, many end up in overcrowded, overwhelmed and underfunded refugee camps. By the end of this year, the UN estimates that a full half of the population of Syria will be in dire need of aid.

With the imminent threat of a US military intervention seemingly receding, the world’s focus should be on aiding the increasingly desperate Syrian population. Relief efforts have been especially difficult given the increasing violence of the conflict but many steadfast organizations are offering supplies, shelter and medical care for people displaced by the crisis.

Here’s an incomplete list:

Doctors Without Borders is providing direct medical aid in six hospitals and four health centers inside Syria. The group is also sending medical supplies, equipment and support to the medical networks throughout Syria that they cannot access themselves. They accept donations online, and you can earmark your gift for Syria by calling 1-888-392-0392.

The Danish Refugee Council is one of the largest organizations on the ground in Syria. The agency is taking donations on its website.

Islamic Relief USA is providing food, housing essentials and medical supplies for those displaced inside Syria as well as refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. To help these efforts, select “Syrian Humanitarian Aid” on the donation page.

The British group ActionAid is raising funds specifically to support relief in the Zaatari camp, an enormous refugee city in Jordan currently housing close to 150,000 displaced Syrians. Donations can be made online.

CARE is operating four refugee centers in Jordan, and is helping refugees there with cash assistance for rent and food. In Lebanon they are helping refugees get access to clean water. Staffers are also working inside Syria, providing emergency supplies for families, psychosocial support for children and emergency medical equipment and specific support for women. You can aid their efforts with an online donation or donate by phone at 1-800-521-CARE.

International Medical Corps is providing health care and counseling services for Syrian refugees with static and mobile clinics at refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. They are also offering medical support to the hospitals and medical facilities in these countries handling refugee care. Support their work by donating online or by calling 310-826-7800.

The International Rescue Committee is helping refugees inside Syria and in the bordering countries with medical and emergency supplies. In refugee camps they are providing water, sanitation and education services. They are also offering counseling, safety and support for women and girls at risk. Help by donating online or at 1-855-9RESCUE.

Shelterbox is providing tents, kitchen equipment, blankets, water purification systems and classroom supplies to more than 4,500 refugee families in Syria. In the coming months the group plans to support another 5,000 families. You can help with an online donation or by texting SHELTER to 20222 to make a $10 donation.

Save the Children is helping young people caught up in the crisis with temporary learning facilities, child friendly spaces and programs to help them cope with their trauma. They are also providing necessities like food, blankets and clothing to refugee families. You can support the Syria Children in Crisis fund by donating online or by calling 1-800-728-3843.

Please use the comments field to let me know what I’ve missed.

Zoe Carpenter outlines the case for diplomacy in Syria.

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