13 Years of Crisis in Syria

For over a decade, Syria has been enduring a multifaceted humanitarian crisis, deeply impacting millions of lives. As we mark the 13th year since the crisis began, it’s crucial to shed light on the ongoing challenges faced by Syrians, particularly in northwest Syria, and explore avenues for international support to alleviate their suffering.

The Syria crisis, currently in its 13th year, remains the largest displacement crisis in the world, with over 12 million Syrians forcibly displaced in the region. The February 2023 earthquakes further exacerbated the situation, affecting around 8.8 million people and destroying homes and vital infrastructure.

The crisis began in March 2011 as a result of a violent government crackdown on public demonstrations in support of teenagers who were arrested for anti-government graffiti in the southern town of Daraa. The conflict quickly escalated and the country descended into a civil war that forced millions of Syrian families to flee their homes. (UN)

Current Situation in Northwest Syria

In northwest Syria, families continue to grapple with dire circumstances, exacerbated by economic hardship and insecurity. Poverty and unemployment are widespread within Syria, with over 90 percent of the population in Syria living below the poverty line. High inflation levels and a record increase in prices of more than 800 percent in the last two years are making basic goods and services unaffordable for many people. An estimated 12.1 million people are food insecure due to the economic crisis. 


Millions of refugees have lost their livelihoods and are increasingly unable to meet their basic needs – including accessing clean water, electricity, food, medicine, and paying rent. The consequences of the prolonged crisis are starkly evident in the lives of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees. Forced to flee their homes due to violence and instability, these individuals and families face immense hardships as they seek refuge in overcrowded camps or makeshift shelters. The economic downturn has also exposed them to multiple protection risks, such as child labor, gender-based violence, early marriage, and other forms of exploitation. (UN)

Additionally, Syrian refugees living in neighbouring countries confront uncertain futures, often contending with discrimination and limited opportunities for education and employment. Despite the efforts of humanitarian organizations and host communities, the needs of IDPs and refugees continue to outstrip available resources, underscoring the pressing need for sustained international support and solidarity.

The effect on Syrian children

Twelve years of crisis have had a profound impact on Syrian children. They have been exposed to violence and indiscriminate attacks, losing their loved ones, their homes, and their possessions. They have grown up knowing nothing but the crisis. Today, over 47 percent of Syrian refugees in the region are under 18 years old and more than a third of them do not have access to education. In Syria, more than two million children are out of school and 1.6 million children are at risk of dropping out. (UN)

Children’s rights during the crisis are undermined daily. An increasing number of Syrian children have fallen victim to child labor, with cases in Lebanon almost doubling in just one year.

How You Can Help

Individuals and organizations have a pivotal role in supporting relief efforts in Syria. Contributing to reputable humanitarian organizations working on the ground, advocating for increased international attention to the crisis, and raising awareness about the plight of Syrians are tangible ways to make a meaningful impact. Every contribution, regardless of size, can help alleviate suffering and instill hope among those affected by the crisis. By standing in solidarity with the Syrian people, we can collectively make a difference and work towards a brighter future for all.

Final thoughts

As Syria enters its 13th year of crisis, the imperative for humanitarian support remains urgent. By recognizing the humanity and dignity of all Syrians and taking action to address their needs, we can uphold our shared responsibility to protect and support vulnerable populations. Through sustained solidarity and concerted efforts, we can work towards lasting peace, stability, and prosperity for Syria and its people.