Image depicting Crisis in Syria
Photo: WFP/Marco Frattini/2021

Crisis in Syria

This year could be one of the hardest years ever for Syrian families. Conflict, displacement and high food prices are pushing Syrians to their absolute limit.

A Hunger and Refugee Crisis

Since violence first erupted in 2011, the crisis in Syria has become one of the most complicated operations for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). More than 6 million people are displaced inside the country, many of whom now live in overcrowded camps, and nearly 6 million Syrian refugees are registered in the region.


12 million people are acutely hungry in Syria


Syria is in its 11th year of conflict


5.6M Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR

Eleven Years of War

March 2022

After 11 years of conflict, Syrian families are being forced to choose between buying food, fuel or medicine. Basic meals were already beyond their reach when war erupted in Ukraine, triggering a collateral wave of hunger and driving up food prices. Despite the challenges, WFP distributes lifesaving food to 5.6 million people every month. This assistance includes 1.3 million people in the northwest via the cross-border operation from Turkey.

Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh

March 2021

After a decade of conflict, the situation is the worst it's ever been. 12.4 million Syrians are hungry, and 6.7 million people are displaced within their country's borders. With the number of COVID-19 cases and food prices rising, families are struggling to survive each day. In January, WFP reached nearly 5 million people with lifesaving food, and ramped up support for vulnerable mothers and children.

Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

April 2020

With 40 confirmed cases of coronavirus, Syria is hoping to avoid catastrophe. With its tattered infrastructure, nearly non-existent health care system and rampant violence, an outbreak there would be devastating. Meanwhile, the cost of a standard food basket - one month of staple food items for a family – went up by 111 percent compared to the same month in 2019.

Photo: WFP/Jessica Lawson

December 2019

Escalating levels of conflict displaced nearly one million people across Northwest Syria starting in early December. It was the largest wave of displacement in nearly nine years of conflict. More than 80 percent of the displaced were women and children. In February, WFP scaled up its work in the area to reach 626,000 people with monthly food rations and another 487,000 newly displaced people with ready-to-eat rations that can feed a family of five for one week.

October 2019

Conflict in Northern Syria erupts when Turkish airstrikes destroy hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure. The violence forces more than 176,000 people - 74,000 of which are children - to flee their homes. To save themselves, many escape on foot with only what they can carry. WFP delivers emergency five-day food rations to 83,000 people in the north and is scaling up to reach a total of 580,000 there each month.

Photo: WFP/Marwa Awad

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

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.

March 2011

The Arab Spring protests erupt and the Syrian civil war begins, pitting the Assad government against the rebels.

Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero
You Can Help Save Lives

Millions of Syrians are displaced from conflict and hungry. Your generous donation can help deliver critical food aid and save lives.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan

Over 650,000 Syrians – that’s more than the entire population of Memphis, Tennessee – have registered with UNHCR in Jordan. Almost 90% of them are either hungry or teetering on the edge of food insecurity.

Read These 10 Facts About the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan

How WFP Is Supporting Syrians

The United Nations World Food Programme works to reach Syria’s most vulnerable families with the food, nutrition and cash-based assistance they need.

Square photograph of EMERGENCY FOOD Detailed photograph of EMERGENCY FOOD
Photo: WFP/Hiba Anty/2016


Each month WFP does whatever it takes to reach over 5 million people with lifesaving food. This is WFP’s largest program in Syria and provides families with foods like rice, beans, oil and wheat to prevent them from slipping further into hunger. In 2016, WFP airlifted emergency food rations into Qamishly city for the most vulnerable groups including orphans, female headed households and widows.

Detailed photograph of NUTRITION SUPPORT
Photo: FP/Hussam Al Saleh/2021


WFP’s nutrition program helps kids to get the best possible start in life and supports pregnant and nursing mothers to fight and prevent malnutrition. WFP currently provides 412,000 pregnant and nursing women and kids under the age of 2 with access to nutrient-rich foods. Women are provided with cash and vouchers to diversify their diets, improve vitamin and mineral intake, and meet their nutritional needs.

Detailed photograph of CASH AID
Photo: WFP/Lina Al Qassab/2021


Cash assistance from WFP empowers families with the purchasing power to buy the nutritious foods they need at stores close to their homes. In Aleppo, WFP provides cash aid through e-cards to the families of children who have missed out on years of school due to conflict and displacement. E-cards are redeemable at local shops for fresh food and serve as an incentive for students to stay in the classroom.


The United World Food Programme 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.

The Syrian people
urgently need our help
Help Us Save LIves

People in Syria are suffering from over a decade of conflict. You can help save lives by donating to send food to people to in need.