Mark Smith Testifies Before U.S. Congress on Syria Humanitarian Crisis

World Vision’s Senior Director for Humanitarian Emergencies, Mark Smith testified before Congress in the House Foreign Affairs’ Middle East Subcommittee on October 8. In his speech he talked about the realities on the ground in the Syria humanitarian crisis, the impact on children, and what action World Vision hopes to see from the U.S. government.

“The war haunts an entire generation of Syria’s children. Every single child in Syria today, under the age of 8, only knows of life impacted by war. This crisis is shaping an entire generation of children—the threat of aerial attacks on their schools, markets, and hospitals shapes them; the loss of their fathers, mothers, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends shapes them; the threat of displacement from their homes shapes them; the reality of not having enough food for their families shapes them; and the reality of not having warm clothing and blankets to get them through the harsh winter months shapes them. Syria’s children are not being allowed to be what they are: children. They have been haunted by the brutal violence and the devastating consequences of this war,” Smith said.

The Syria crisis has been going on for more than four years now, becoming one of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern times and forcing nearly 12 million Syrians to flee their homes. Half of those impacted are children. World Vision has helped more than 2 million people in their response, which is focused in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Serbia, as well as within Syria. The organization has been provided food, relief supplies, water and sanitation, remedial education and Child Friendly Spaces for those in need. Read Mark’s full testimony to Congress here or watch the recording of the session available above.

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.


  • Crisis has forced more than 12 million from their homes
  • Half of those impacted by crisis are children
  • World Vision has provided assistance to more than 2 million people in food, water and sanitation, relief supplies, remedial education and Child Friendly Spaces