The crisis in Syria

October 2012

Since the civil war began there in March 2011, an estimated 100,000 people have been killed, five million have been displaced within Syria and over two million – half of them children – have fled to neighbouring countries. Humanitarian agencies have struggled to reach people in desperate need of assistance in both government- and rebel-controlled areas, hampered by ongoing conflict and government-imposed bureaucratic restrictions. During the almost three years of conflict, 32 Syrian Red Crescent volunteers have been killed and several aid workers have been kidnapped.


A day to honor Syria’s humanitarian workers

19 August 2013 - Sara Pantuliano
Aid agencies need to rethink how they calculate the risks to the lives of local aid personnel, and seek to extend the same duty of care to local staff and international aid workers to ensure that as many humanitarian aid workers as possible stay alive when trying to save the lives of others.

Syria crisis: an update on the humanitarian response

Event - 31 August 2012 14:00 - 16:00 (GMT+00)

This event was convened to examine the humanitarian implications of the war in Syria. By August 2012 the conflict had spread to the two major cities, Damascus and Aleppo displacing thousands and triggering the flight of hundreds of thousands of refugees. 

Discussion at this second roundtable on Syria focused on the humanitarian response within Syria and regionally by bringing together representatives of the leading agencies in Damascus, Amman, Rome and London. The discussion provided an opportunity for humanitarian partners to explore how best to respond to the needs of all those caught up in the conflict. 

The first roundtable reflected on the current response of the international community and consider its impact on civilians caught up in the conflict.

Syria crisis: the humanitarian response

Event - 15 June 2012 11:00 - 13:00 (GMT+01 (BST))

This closed-door roundtable on the Syria crisis brought together leading humanitarian aid agencies and senior figures with direct experience of humanitarian work in the country. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the response of the international community and consider its impact on the civilian population. 

Sanctuary in the city? Urban displacement and vulnerability in Damascus - A desk study

Publication - December 2011
Simone Haysom and Sara Pavanello
This study focuses on urbanisation, displacement and vulnerability in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Research aims to consider the reality of life for displaced populations in urban areas, investigate the policy and operational challenges that confront national and international stakeholders when responding to the needs of urban internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees, and offer recommendations for strengthening support to these populations.