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Five Years of War and the Syrian Refugee Crisis

15th March, 2016

March 15, 2016, marks the fifth anniversary of the Syrian civil war, a brutal and bitter conflict which has fuelled the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.

More than 250,000 people have been killed; 6.5 million have been internally displaced and 4.8 million have fled as refugees.

Millions more continue to live in daily fear as they struggle for survival among the devastation. A generation is growing up knowing nothing but starvation and fear, in besieged communities where powerless populations have to rely on eating boiled leaves and animal feed.

A new study from Save the Children shows 250,000 children are trapped in Syria without food, medicine or electricity. At the Zatari refugee camp in Jordan, which houses more than 80,000 Syrians, the 5,000th refugee baby has been born at the UN Population Fund clinic.

A recent ceasefire and international talks have raised the flickering prospect of an end to the conflict, but in the meantime the Syrian population continues to rely on the aid agencies and the generosity of the outside world to survive.

The main countries housing refugees are:

Turkey: 2.7 million
Lebanon: 1 million
Jordan: 640,000
Iraq: 245,000
Egypt: 118,000

In addition, more than 500,000 Syrian refugees are estimated to have entered Europe, many of them travelling by sea and with the main arrival point being Greece.

In the last 2 years alone, Islamic Help has provided emergency aid, support and long term programmes for more than 250,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

In 2014, our staff and volunteers delivered food, water, clothing, hygiene kits, fuel heaters, gas cylinders, blankets, milk and medicines for babies and infants. In Syria itself, we provided Qurbani meat for more than 25,000 people. We provided at least four truckloads of clean drinking water at border crossing points used by Syrian refugees to enter Jordan, equivalent to enough water for more than 30,000 people.

Emergency food and water was distributed at refugee camps in Al Ramtha, Al Mafraq and the Ma’an Governate, as well as Iftar and Eid meals. There were similar provision for refugees at camps in Lebanon and Turkey.

During 2015, we continued emergency aid distributions allied with clothes, blankets and heating, plus medical aid and medicines to clinics and the main hospital in Ma’an. Eight containers of clothing, shoes and blankets worth more than £1.1 million and provided by donors in the UK and Muslim businesses in Panama were distributed for the benefit of more than 70,000 men, women and children.

Our long term support for Syrian refugees saw the establishment of a school for 240 refugee children in Istanbul, Turkey, plus English language and vocational classes for adults in Turkey and livelihood projects.

We also launched a long term programme called Birth to help Syrian refugee mothers and their babies. It involved the distribution of clothing for hundreds of new-borns and their mothers along with baby food and medicines. As part of Birth, a clinic to help pregnant refugee mothers give birth safely is due to open soon.

As the Syrian conflict enters its sixth year, we would like to thank all our supporters and donors for their efforts in helping the refugees of Syria. We also ask for your continued generosity to help us deliver the aid and support they need during this crisis. Please donate today.