accessibility & help

What we are doing in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq

The six-year conflict in Syria has forced 4.9 million people to flee to neighbouring countries including Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Working with our partners, the Red Cross is helping the most vulnerable Syrian families get enough food, access to medical care, and a safe place to stay.

Lebanon: where more than one in four people are refugees

Lebanon hosts more refugees per capita than anywhere else in the world. Of the five million people who live in Lebanon, more than one million – around 30 per cent – are Syrian refugees.

Since March 2014, we have helped the Lebanese Red Cross to reach 2,158 Syrian refugee families and Lebanese host families.

Most of this support has taken the form of cash grants that allow people to buy essentials including food, blankets and warm clothes for winter. Grants can also help people pay the rent.

Giving cash helps make our support more flexible and effective because families can buy what they need most. It also puts more money into the local economy.

Here is one family’s story:

Funds from our Syria Crisis Appeal support our work in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Jordan: cash grants support vulnerable families

More than 650,000 Syrian refugees now live in Jordan – that’s more people than the population of Glasgow.

If the UK took in the same number of refugees relative to our population, we would have to accommodate over six million people.

As in Lebanon, around 90 per cent of Syrian refugees in Jordan live in the community. And also like Lebanon, the Red Cross and our partners the Jordanian Red Crescent support refugee families with cash grants:

  • in 2013, we gave grants to 871 refugee families living in rented homes
  • in 2015-2016, grants helped 506 families meet their basic winter needs, such as for fuel
  • in 2017, 1,388 families received winter payments of around £234 to cover household expenses, including for rent, utility bills and winter clothes.

Together with the Red Crescent, we also helped train 30 people in vocational skills such as baking. Another 40 are learning how to set up their own businesses and we provide a business starter kit with essential items to help them get started.

We also focused on promoting good health in 2016, when we supported a community health and first aid programme to reach 15,000 people to:

  • promote immunisations for children
  • share health information at community events, schools and with families
  • teach women about nutrition and breastfeeding so they and their babies stay healthy
  • improve people’s access to healthcare in Jordan
  • help people learn first aid and how to prevent emergencies

Iraq: providing better shelter

While millions of Iraqis have had to flee their homes because of the country’s own conflict, thousands of Syrians have also sought refuge in Iraq.

The Red Cross has helped 293 Syrian families, who fled to Gawilan refugee camp in northern Iraq, to replace their tents with sturdier, more weatherproof shelters:

  • Each two-room shelter has walls made of plastered blocks and a roof that is both strong enough for cold winter weather and not too hot in summer
  • Shelters are designed to sit on top of existing tent foundations and have electricity
  • People can use toilet and shower blocks nearby
Find out more about how we're helping in Syria and neighbouring countries.


Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal

The violence in Syria continues with no end in sight. Urgent help is needed for the ordinary Syrians caught in the middle.

Donate now >

How we're helping in Syria

Syria ambulances

We provide essential emergency aid, food, water, medical care and shelter to thousands of families in Syria and beyond.

Find out how we're helping >

Sarah: a day in the life of a Syrian refugee in Lebanon

Syrian refugees Sarah and her children sit in their tent in Lebanon

Sarah and her children fled to Lebanon but her husband is still trapped in Syria. Cash grants help the family keep going.

Read Sarah's story >

Jordan: a dream, a memory and a cash grant

A young Syrian boy stands in the courtyard of a house in Jordan near clothes drying on a washing line

Meet a few of the hundreds of Syrian refugee families who rely on cash grants to cover essential expenses.

Syrian refugees in Jordan speak out >