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Refugee Crisis in Syria and Iraq

World Vision is serving children and families displaced by the brutal fighting in Syria and violence in Iraq, as they find refuge in neighboring areas and countries. Resources and staff interviews are available.

Media Contacts:

Laura Blank

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Subject Matter Experts:

Chris Palusky

The Latest

Up to the minute news, press releases, media and more.

War through the eyes of an aid worker
Aug 14, 2015

War through the eyes of an aid worker

As the conflict in Syria rages on, we sat down to talk with our national communications director in Lebanon, where more than a million Syrian refugees now live.

On the 5th of each month, Ibtisam, Sabah's 32-year-old daughter, and her relatives buy their basic food material, through electronic food assistance cards. The cards, referred to as e-cards, are distributed by World Vision to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They are funded by the World Food Program, but that assistance is in jeopardy with a large percentage of the Syrian refugee response remaining unfunded. PHOTO: World Vision / Mona Daoud
Jun 25, 2015

UN agencies and partners say funding shortage leaves Syrian refugees and host nations without vital support

Report details serious consequences if Syria aid response remains underfunded.

Zakaria and his family live in a small shelter in Azraq refugee camp after fleeing their home in Syria. The family's biggest wish for 2015 is that the war in Syria will stop so they can return home. PHOTO: World Vision / Suzy Sainovski
Jun 22, 2015

Record-high displacement figures are "wake-up call" for world leaders, says World Vision

World Vision is calling for increased support for refugee children, as new figures show that more than 29 million children around the world have been forced to flee their homes – a number greater than the entire population of Texas.

Video: Syrian refugee children draw their dreams and nightmares
Jun 18, 2015

Video: Syrian refugee children draw their dreams and nightmares

We asked Syrian refugee children in a World Vision Child-Friendly Space in Lebanon to draw one of their dreams and then share them with us.

Video: Stories of Syria’s Lost Generation
Jun 3, 2015

Video: Stories of Syria’s Lost Generation

Amid shattered dreams and broken hearts in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, refugee children like Ali, Hassan, Nour, Marie, and Ayat share their stories of survival, loss, pain, and hardship.

Refugee Enstar, 28, and a neighbor. Enstar is a mother of eight including a young baby. She lives tent in an internally-displaced people’s (IDP) camp in Erbil, Iraq Kurdistan and is trying her best to keep her infant warm, despite the meager shelter. PHOTO: World Vision/Cecil Laguardia
Mar 30, 2015

‘Political solution the only option for Syria,’ says aid agency on eve of conference

Ahead of the third donor pledging conference in Kuwait, humanitarian relief, development and advocacy organisation World Vision has issued an urgent plea for support for Syrian humanitarian crisis.

Panorama image taken by NASA of lights on earth at night, focusing on the European/Middle East area. Since this photo was taken on November 27, 2000, Syria's lights have dimmed significantly due to war. PHOTO: Courtesy http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Mar 11, 2015

Eighty-three percent of Syria's lights extinguished after four years of crisis

Analyzing satellite images, scientists based at Wuhan University in China, in co-operation with the #withSyria coalition of 130 non-governmental organizations, have shown that the number of lights visible over Syria at night has fallen by 83% since March 2011.

Mohammed is in sixth grade and enjoys football (soccer). His favorite position is goalkeeper. "The thing I miss the most about Syria, he says, is my home. I miss my relatives, neighbors and friends." PHOTO: ©2015 Suzy Sainovski / World Vision
Mar 12, 2015

New poll finds most Americans still unaware of severity of Syria crisis

As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, a new poll finds most Americans still have no idea how many people have been affected by the violence. The reality is that more than 3 million Syrian refugees now make up the largest refugee population in the world.


Fact Sheets and Extras

Syrian Crisis: Child-Friendly Spaces | World Vision (VIDEO)

This video highlights the promise and success of Child-Friendly Spaces in keeping Syrian refugee children safe and happy.

World Vision's 4-year policy briefing on the crisis in Syria (PDF)

As the crisis in Syria enters its fifth year, the deteriorating trend of death, destruction and suffering shows little sign of abating. In 2014, huge increases were seen in the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Syria Crisis Response, 3 Years on: Impact Report (PDF)

The human tragedy of the Syria crisis is incomprehensible, because for every adult, every child affected ... there is a face, a heart, a loss, a dream, a story. This report summarizes World Vision’s involvement in supporting children, parents and families affected by the Syria crisis. It tells not a story of resolution, but of respite. It recounts our efforts to mitigate some of the worst effects of this crisis.

Relevant Magazine: 5 organizations helping the people of Iraq and Syria (LINK)

World Vision is one of the world’s largest Christian humanitarian organizations, and is currently working to provide displaced Iraqis with food, water, sanitation, shelter and safety. World Vision currently has teams on the ground in Iraq, assisting religious minorities and those effected by the violence who were forced to flee their homes.

Stand with me: Children's rights, wronged (Jan. 2014 Report PDF)

As the Syrian conflict nears its fourth year, the situation for children affected by the crisis is becoming unbearable. Thousands of children have been killed, and millions more have been displaced. More than 4.3 million of these children remain in Syria, while more than 1.2 million have fled into neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan.

Syria Crisis: Education Interrupted (Joint Report PDF)

Every day the crisis in Syria is prolonged, the pain endured by innocent families grows – leaving deep scars that are likely to disfigure the Middle East and beyond for years to come. Most affected of all are Syria’s children: more than 5 million young lives are at risk of becoming a “lost generation.”This paper focuses on the havoc being wreaked on these children’s hopes of an education – and the likely consequences for the region’s future.

The Guardian: Sara's story (VIDEO LINK)

"Before the war started, nothing worried me. Then our home got bombed," says Sara, 14, from Damascus, who now lives in a cardboard shack with 14 relatives in a border refugee camp in Lebanon. She shares her memories of her father, who was killed in 2012. A photo album and a watch he gave her are all she now has to remember him by. World Vision provides water to the camps and education – a catchup school, which Sara attends – as well as psychosocial support

Robbed of Childhood: Running From War (PDF)

War in their country is placing on Syrian children emotional burdens they are too young to bear.

Under Pressure: Advocacy Report for Syria's Children (PDF)

War in Syria and the resulting flood of refugees into Lebanon places enormous pressure on Lebanese families & communities.

UN resolution on Humanitarian Access to Syria (PDF, Oct. 2, 2013)

A coalition of 16 international humanitarian organizations welcome today’s unanimous statement of the UN Security Council calling on all parties to the conflict in Syria to facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all civilians in need throughout the country.

OnFaith: How you can help in Iraq (LINK)

It can be tough not to despair in the face of the relentlessly awful news pouring out of Iraq — ethnic cleansing, widespread persecution of Muslims, Christians, and Yazidis, a tyrannical government that may not be replaced anytime soon. But despair leads only to inaction. World Vision is preparing a response to help those who’ve been forced to abandon their homes, including providing food, water, shelter, and health care.