Seven Years of Syrian Conflict (15 March 2011 – 15 March 2018) 

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kamyar Kompani, IOM*

15 March 2018 — Seven years of relentless conflict has left 13.1 million Syrians in need of humanitarian aid and created one of the largest displacement crises since World War II.


Syrian family in Turkey. Photo: Muse Mohamed/©IOM

Some 5.3 million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt — and 6.1 million are internally displaced within Syria.

Between June 2012 and September 2015, the number of people inside Syria in need of humanitarian aid rose sharply by around 4 million every year. In 2017, for the first time since the beginning of the crisis, the number of people needing assistance decreased, although only marginally.

The number of Syrians in acute need has also lowered from 8.7 million in 2016 to 5.6 million. Despite this, more than 1 out of every 3 people inside Syria are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

“We made an old tin shelter, thinking it would be just temporary until I could buy a tent of our own, but the price for a new tent was so high that I was never able to afford one,” said Sanad Alqatr, an internally displaced father of five.

The number of internally displaced Syrians also grew by nearly fourfold to 7.6 million from January 2013 to October 2014. It has since remained distressingly high between 6.6 and 6.1 million for the last three years.

“My dream is to return to my city, to my work, to my house where I spent nearly 50 years and have the most beautiful memories with my family and children,” said internally displaced Hatem.

Despite the reduction in violence in some areas, 2.9 million Syrians were newly displaced in 2017. That is an average of 8,000 people per day.

Most displaced Syrians flee multiple times as front-lines shift and hostilities draw dangerously close to where they are sheltering. Displacements in 2017 tended to occur within governorates and last for relatively short periods of time.

Regardless of the unsuitable conditions, some 850,000 Syrians returned home last year, and 550,000 in 2016. A quarter of last year’s returnees note the need to protect their homes and assets as their reason for return. These returns have been mainly spontaneous and not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable.

“I am relieved,” said 20-year-old internally displaced Ahmed who attended IOM vocational training sessions. “I will open my own shop and start my career to earn money to support my family and live in dignity.”

These grim statistics and the tragic stories of the men, women and children behind them are a stark reminder of the continuous relevance and importance of the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

On their twentieth anniversary, the Principles remain the most widely recognized standard to help guide actors and the overall response for preventing, responding to and resolving internal displacement.

What IOM is Doing in 2018:

Syria (6.1 million internally displaced persons): IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is targeting over 700,000 displaced Syrians and affected communities with temporary/ medium-term shelter solutions, along with household and winter items, which one of the main needs of millions of Syrians. Another major component of IOM’s assistance in 2018 is the provision of sanitation and hygiene services to some 800,000 Syrians.

An internally displaced Syrian at a vocational training session. Photo: ©IOM

Over 100,000 Syrians are also being targeted with early recovery and livelihood assistance like vocational training, in-kind grants and short-term employment projects. This helps people meet their own needs by generating an income.

Turkey (3.5 million Syrian refugees): In Turkey, which is hosting the highest number of Syria refugees, IOM is targeting thousands of Syrians with basic needs and essential services, including the provision of cash assistance for 90,000 extremely vulnerable households. IOM is also planning to provide school bus services across seven provinces to some 20,000 Syrian children.

Fourth-grader Marah loves to wear her Tiara whether it is her birthday or not. Photo: © IOM


Lebanon (995,000 Syrian refugees): IOM is supporting the delivery of municipal services to address the short-term needs of thousands of Syrians and host communities.

Jordan (650,000 Syrian Refugees): IOM will provide transportation services for Syrians to and from camps, registration centres and other locations within Jordan. Some 9,000 Syrian children living in Azraq refugee camp in Northern Lebanon will also take an IOM-UNICEF bus to school every day.

A bus escort in Jordan’s Azraq camp taking attendance. Photo: © IOM


Iraq (247,000) and Egypt (127,000): Hundreds of Syrians in Iraq and Egypt are also targeted to receive employment and vocational training.

Visit IOM’s 2018 Syria appeal for a detailed breakdown of our planned assistance. This appeal is part of the inter-agency Syria Humanitarian Response Plan and the Regional Refugee Response Plan.


*SOURCE: This article was posted in IOM by Kamyar Kompani, Media & Communication Division, IOM HQ. Go to ORIGINAL. 

2018 Human Wrongs Watch


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