Humanitarian disaster in Syria

Since the conflict broke out in 2011, almost 5 million Syrian have fled to neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, along with to Iraq and North-Africa. Some 6.5 million Syrian are internally displaced,as many as 4.5 million in besieged areas.


Norwegian Church Aid in Syria

Presence established: 2012
Funds used in 2015: 21.8 million NOK


In 2016 231,742 people got acces to a safe water supply.

Syria Emergency Response

In Bar Elias refugee camp, Norwegian Church Aid supplies water and sanitation facilities together with food items. Phpoto: Margrethe Volden / Norwegian Church AidIn Bar Elias refugee camp, Norwegian Church Aid supplies water and sanitation facilities together with food items. Photo: Margrethe Volden / Norwegian Church Aid

Since 2012 Norwegian Church Aid has provided humanitarian aid in ten provinces in Syria, and to Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries Lebanon and Jordan. Norwegian Church Aid works closely with local and international organizations to reach as many people in need as possible. So far we have supplied more than 1 million refugees with life-saving assistance in the form of safe drinking water, food, shelter, and winter clothing and blankets.

Watch the report from the Norwegian newspaper "Bistandsaktuelt" on their visit to a refugee camp Norwegian Church Aid is operating together with our partners in Northern Iraq:

Water, sanitation, and hygiene

Safe drinking water saves lives in emergencies. Together with local Syrian organizations, Norwegian Church Aid has provided safe drinking water to a large number of Syrians, and our work continues. Each context demands its own solution, and the solutions we have delivered inside and outside of Syria are diverse.

The water distribution in Syria is now broken in several places, and other places it suffers from lack of maintenance when local engineers are hindered from repairing because of the ongoing conflict. Norwegian Church Aid has therefore repaired and in some places installed new parts of the distributions network. We have also built new water wells. As a result of these and other measures, 941,000 women, men, girls and boys across Syria gained access to safe water facilities in the period 2012 – 2014.

Kirkens Nødhjelp støtter hygieneundervisning på en skole i Aleppo.Norwegian Church Aid supports hygiene education amongst children and youth in Syria. Here from a school in Aleppo where the students learn why handwashing is important. Photo: GOPA

Safe drinking water and a focus on hygiene reduce the risk of waterborne diseases. Since 2012, 335,000 individuals are less vulnerable to public health risks due to the provision of hygiene kits and latrines. To have the opportunity to wash and thereby maintain a certain standard of hygiene, also contributes to a feeling of decency in a troubled situation.

In Lebanon, Norwegian Church Aid has reached about 70,000 Syrian refugees and Lebanese host community members. They have gained access to safe drinking water, toilets and showers, in addition to emergency items and hygiene kits to make their life easier and more hygienic. We have also improved the sanitation conditions at 26 schools and 10 clinics.

Syrian school children in Damaskus are learning about good hygiene through games and playing. Photo: GOPA.

Food and clothing

During the winter months in Syria and the neighbouring countries, the temperatures are very low and the need for warm clothing is increasing. Norwegian Church Aid has distributed warm blankets, ovens, fuel, winter clothing, shoes, mattresses, and winter tents to 35.000 people.

Capacity building

As part of Norwegian Church Aid's humanitarian response, we are building local capacity and securing that the efforts reach a satisfactory quality. These efforts consist amongst other of training local organizations and local communities to operate and maintain water and sanitation systems.

Important documents