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What you need to know about the Syrian crisis

The war in Syria represents the most serious humanitarian crisis in living memory which has affected millions of people across Syria and neighbouring countries.

How did it all start?

Anti-government demonstrations began in March 2011 as part of the Arab Spring. The peaceful protests quickly escalated into civil war after the government’s violent crackdown and the rebels fightback against the regime.

By July, army defectors had loosely organised the Free Syrian Army and many civilian Syrians took up arms to join the opposition. Divisions between secular and Islamist fighters, and between ethnic groups, continue to complicate the politics of the conflict.

The refugee crisis

The United Nations said that by the end of 2018, the number of registered Syrian refugees was nearly 5.7 million, and over half of those refugees are children. The exodus of refugees has escalated year-on-year and their situation is getting worse as Syria’s neighbours struggle to deal with the influx across their borders. 

More than 670,000 are in Jordan while the figure in Lebanon is about 950,000. Turkey has opened its borders to 3.6 million, Iraq to more than 250,000 and Egypt to more than 130,000. Inside Syria itself, the numbers who are suffering also continues to grow, with half of the country’s 23 million population in need of assistance.

Life for Syrian refugees often means trying to survive in bleak and harsh conditions, without adequate resources or means to combat the effects of poverty and ill-health. It leaves them susceptible to disease and life-threatening conditions, compounding the problems they already face in their struggle to survive in bleak environments

Where do the people flee to?

YOU can help

 Every contribution will help us to ensure food, water, shelter and medicine are provided to Syrian families in desperate need

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