Responding to the crisis in Syria

Women preserving eggplant harvest in Hama, Syria in 2015.

After more than six years of crisis, the situation in Syria and the region is worsening. There is increased fighting and violence on the ground and little progress towards a political solution. Civilians inside Syria, as well as those forced to flee and communities hosting them bear the brunt.

Since the onset of the crisis in 2011, hundreds of thousands have been killed, and today 13.5 million people in Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian support, protection and livelihoods. Over 5 million people have taken refuge in neighbouring countries, whose generosity is coming at great cost and where risks of instability are mounting.

Together UN agencies, funds and programmes work with donors, NGO partners and the private sector to save lives, enhance protection and build resilience in response to this protracted crisis.

What does UNDP do in Syria?

At UNDP we lead on supporting vulnerable communities through local development programmes that help build resilience as this crisis continues to threaten every aspect of well-being.

Inside Syria, UNDP focuses on local projects to create emergency jobs, support livelihoods and restore critical community infrastructure for all Syrians, with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable, including woman-headed households and youth. This support helps build community resilience and improve the living conditions of both internally displaced and host communities inside Syria, which in turn allows humanitarian support to have a stronger impact on people’s lives. In 2016 alone we touched the lives of over 2.3 million Syrians through rehabilitation and jobs programmes.

What does UNDP do in neighbouring countries?

In countries neighbouring Syria, UNDP supports highly-strained and vulnerable host communities to cope with the influx of refugees by improving infrastructure, and boosting local economic and employment opportunities. We especially focus on vulnerable groups, such as young people, those with disabilities and women.

In Lebanon, we have already supported over 140 vulnerable communities and reached more than 1.5 million people with job opportunities, basic services, and support for social cohesion, approximately three-quarters of them Lebanese and the rest refugees from Syria. In Jordan, one of our focuses is supporting entrepreneurs to create businesses that address social problems while also putting money in people’s pockets – often for the first time. So far we’ve helped over 20,000 people boost livelihoods through this work. In Turkey, UNDP’s support for infrastructure and services has benefitted 120,000 people, and we’ve also created over 2,000 jobs in initiatives such as establishing a new olive-oil press.  

UNDP’s development approach focuses on building resilience and ensuring that communities not only recover from the crisis but also improve the longer-term, sustainable development prospects needed to move toward a lasting peace.

UNDP is committed to providing the very best support we can to help governments and host communities in the region build resilience in the face of one of the world’s most pressing crisis. Support our programme to ensure a sustainable response to a protracted crisis.

Our stories

UNDP in Syria
Defending the Orontes: A community effort to restore a city lifeline

A resilience project in Syria has put together team to clean up the Orontes, picking up garbage along the river banks and surrounding gardens and replanting trees and agricultural crops. more 

UNDP in Syria
The resilient women of Syria

As part of its Early Recovery and Resilience Programme in Syria, UNDP supports an initiative to provide job opportunities in the field of plumbing to a number of IDPs and host community members in Tartous. more 

UNDP in Syria
Syria: Restoring Roman wells to bring relief

In Syria's rural areas, long-abandoned Roman wells have become more than a relic of a bygone civilization. For communities struggling to cope with the disastrous ongoing more 

UNDP in Jordan
Emergency jobs sow long-term livelihoods for youth in Jordan

Nineteen-year-old Aya is one of 750 youth who have completed training through the 3x6 Emergency Employment Project, part of UNDP's regional response to the crisis in Syria. more 

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