Saving Lives
in Syria
Image depicting Saving Lives in Syria
Photo: WFP/Edward Johnson
Eight years of war have pushed millions of Syrians into hunger and poverty.
Photo: WFP/Edward Johnson
A country in crisis

Since violence first erupted in 2011, the crisis in Syria has become one of the most complicated humanitarian operations for WFP. More than 6.2 million people are displaced inside the country, and children have born the brunt of the war’s effects.

Eight Years of War

May 2019

Recent fighting in northwest Syria has forced nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes towards northern Idlib, aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in camps where more than 300,000 displaced people are now living. WFP assists more than 3 million people every month.

Photo: WFP/Marwa Awad

March 2018

The Syrian civil war enters its eighth year.

Photo: WFP/Marwa Awad

October 2017

The fall of Raqqa and the departure of ISIS.

Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh

April 2017

The United States launches a military strike on a Syrian government airbase in response to a second chemical weapon attack on civilians.

December 2016

The fall of Aleppo after hundreds of government airstrikes leaves the city of roughly 4.6 million people in ruins.

April 2016

WFP begins high-altitude airdrops in Deir Ezzor, a besieged area in northeastern Syria. More than 300 airdrops saved 100,000 lives.

Photo: WFP/Photolibrary

March 2011

The Syrian civil war begins, pitting the Assad government against the rebels.

Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

Meeting the challenge

WFP overcomes daunting obstacles to feed Syrian families and refugees across the region. Smart, innovative solutions include iris scans, truck convoys, bakeries and greenhouses.

Photo: WFP/Mohammad Batah
Iris scans

Cash, vouchers and e-cards can be lost, stolen, or forged, putting recipients at risk. This technology allows Syrian refugees to safely purchase food from camp supermarkets using a scan of their eye instead.

Photo: WFP/Hani Al Homsh
Truck convoys

WFP’s trucks reach hungry families in need, carrying more than 1 million pounds of lifesaving food. The trucks carry large bags of food, nutritional supplements and other supplies to hard-to-reach communities.

Photo: WFP/Dina El Kassaby

Bread is a staple food and a powerful cultural symbol in Syria. When bakeries inside eastern Aleppo were destroyed in conflict, WFP provided bundles of bread to nearly 12,000 displaced people.


Greenhouses are being rebuilt and farmers have been provided with tomato seeds and irrigation kits, as well as with food rations to get through the lean season before their tomato harvests are complete.

Because of these efforts, the World Food Programme feeds more than 3 million people inside Syria and 1.5 million Syrian refugees each month.

Square photograph of Shadia Detailed photograph of Shadia
Photo: WFP/Partner


Shadia was eight years old when a bomb hit her house, leaving her with extensive scarring. Her family now lives in a refugee camp in Idlib.

Read Shadia's story +
Detailed photograph of Roua
Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh


Roua loves art and won her school's art design competition last year. She is able to learn in her classroom thanks to a school meal.

Read Roua's story +
Detailed photograph of Mustafa
Photo: WFP/Marwa Awad


“I feel I am living in a grave, forgotten,” says Mustafa. He runs a makeshift bakery in a basement because it's safer than anything above ground.

Read Mustafa's story +
As of May 2019
6.5M people don't know where their next meal is coming from.
$115M is needed
to continue operations for the next five months.

Help us realize a future beyond emergency assistance where our help is no longer needed.

Let’s build people’s knowledge, skills and resilience. Let’s invest in economic opportunities and sustainable food systems so that all Syrian families can get the nutrition they need to reach their full potential.