accessibility & help

Syrians need urgent support this winter

22 December 2014

A woman holds a little girl on land covered in snow

As governments and external donors deal with extended, complex and expensive crises around the world, the Red Cross has warned the urgent and pressing needs of those affected by the conflict in Syria are in danger of being forgotten.

According to the UN, 12.2 million Syrians – including more than 5 million children – are in need of assistance. At least 3 million have fled to neighbouring countries.

David Peppiatt international director at the British Red Cross said: “At a time when humanitarian needs in the region are growing, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement is gravely concerned about reductions and gaps in aid provision – this is the time to step up the response, not reduce it.”

“The situation remains bleak for millions of people and is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Already difficult living conditions are compounded by the added challenges of winter, and with livelihoods lost along with homes, the British Red Cross is urgently appealing for additional funds to help support them through the cold weather.”

Donate to the Syria Winter Crisis Appeal.

Despite reaching temperatures of up to 45 degrees in the summer, winters in the region are incredibly harsh, with snow fall not uncommon. Just staying warm and dry is a daily challenge, with millions of people are spending their third winter in tents, shelters and other temporary housing.  Many have been displaced numerous times, across borders, and have few remaining possession.

The daily lives of almost all Syrians have now been impacted by the crisis. Even those who were not initially affected now find themselves in need of help as savings and livelihoods dwindle as the conflict heads into its fourth year.

Unemployment now stands at over 54 per cent, leaving millions without the ability to support themselves and increasingly dependent on already depleted international aid.

Despite the challenges, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent maintains an extensive presence throughout the country and across frontlines. They are one of the few agencies still able to deliver aid in hard to reach areas, so it is vital they have the funds to continue their work.

The British Red Cross is making an urgent call for funds to help provide 50,000 families - a quarter of a million people - with winter kits of mats, mattresses and blankets. The kits will give people a warm place to sleep and help them stay healthy through the winter.

Donate to the Syria Winter Crisis Appeal.


Syria stories

In a dark room at the top of three flights of crumbling, water-logged stairs, Ameena sits with her two severely disabled sons.

“All the houses in our neighbourhood have been flattened now. Completely flattened.”

When stepping out of his front door meant facing a storm of gunfire, Marwan knew he had to leave.

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