The DEC launched its appeal in March 2013 after two years of war had devastated the lives of many Syrian families and had left more than 9 million people in need of aid. In many parts of the country the health system had effectively collapsed, water supplies had been cut and food was in short supply.
At that time, about 1.2 million houses had been damaged, with 400,000 totally destroyed. An estimated 6.5 million people were displaced inside Syria, and 2.5 million people had fled to the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. Refugees were arriving at camps which were already stretched to capacity, and many families were living in crude shelters they had built themselves, with host families in overcrowded conditions or in partially finished buildings.
DEC fundraising has now closed, the UK public donated £27 million for help until March 2015. These funds supported over 300,000 people in Syria and the wider region. Fundraising ended in October 2014 after an unprecedented 19-month appeal, extended from the usual six months due to the worsening humanitarian situation.
The following DEC member charities currently have open appeals for the Syria crisis:
BEFORE THE CRISIS
Syria was a middle income country of 20 million people before the war. It was ranked 116th in the UN’s Human Development Index out of 186 nations. The Assad family have been in power for a quarter of a century, with current president Bashar al-Assad taking over from his father in 2000.
In early 2011 there were anti-government protests in Syria in the wake of a series of revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa. The protests were suppressed and a number of demonstrators were shot dead. What started as an anti-government protest quickly evolved into a full-fledged civil war.
IMPACT OF THE CRISIS - 2013
- 9.3 million people are in need of aid within Syria
- 6.5 million people are internally displaced within Syria
- 2.5 million people have fled the country, seeking refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and North Africa.
- Over 4 million people are in need of food
- Over 100,000 civilians killed
HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE - 2013/14
The Syrian humanitarian response is largest ever in monetary terms with the UN asking for 1.5 billion to help people in Syria and the region during 2014. So far, only 12% of this is funded.
The DEC launched its appeal on 21 March 2013 and, despite huge challenges and real dangers, DEC member agencies have helped over 300,000 in the first six months of the response. Of those helped, the vast majority - 86% - have been inside Syria itself.
Of the DEC money spent so far, over half has paid for the most basic support imaginable - food, water and sanitation. While more than a quarter of the rest paid for emergency shelter and healthcare. Of the £12 million given directly to the DEC for the Syria Crisis Appeal over the past year, £4.43 million or 37% was spent in the first six months of the response.
You can find the latest DEC Syria Crisis Appeal fundraising total here.