Where We Work

Syria

Syria Crisis

The crisis continues in its eighth year

Syria’s civil war is now in its eighth year with no end in sight. The conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and has sparked the largest population exodus since World War II, with more than six and one-half million displaced inside Syria and over five and one half million seeking refuge in neighboring countries. An estimated 2.3 million remain trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where they are at-risk of human rights violations. Many lack even the most basic assistance in what has become the largest and most complex humanitarian catastrophe in our world today.

Population

17 million

(down from a prewar figure of 21 to 22 million)

Displaced Persons

72% 

Over two-thirds of Syria’s population is displaced

In Need of Assistance

13.1 million

Brutal Civil War in Syria Enters Eighth Year

Violence, Barbarity Go On Unabated, but Global Outrage Wanes as the World Begins to View the Century's Bloodiest Conflict as Syria's New Normal

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Syrian Refugee Crisis

More than 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. International Medical Corps has been on the frontlines of the crisis since 2012.

Syria Crisis

Now in its eight year, the Syrian war continues to inflict immeasurable levels of suffering on civilians and fuel the largest displacement in the world today.

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The Challenges

Armed Conflict

Facing their eighth year of war, Syrians continue to be exposed to incomprehensible levels of violence and human suffering

Humanitarian Access

More than 2 million civilans remain trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas where they are at risk of human rights violation and in need of humanitarian assistance

Population Displacement

Well over half of Syria’s population has been uprooted from their homes –many of them more than once

Our Response

International Medical Corps has been helping those displaced in Damascus and other Governorates of Syria since the start of the conflict.

Simultaneously, we continue to support tens of thousands of the 5.6 million Syrians who have sought refuge in neighboring countries or further afield, including Lebanon,Iraq , Turkey nd Jordan. In addition, when the door briefly opened for refugees to enter Europe, International Medical Corps was there to assist them as they landed on Greek island beaches following oft-perilous journeys across the Mediterranean.

With operations based in Damascus, in 2017 International Medical Corps performed over 415,000 primary healthcare consultations, 15% of which were for children below 5 years of age; screened almost 9,000 children for malnutrition, provided over 3,800 people with mental health and psychosocial support, reached over 3,200 people with psychosocial activities; and provided emergency relief supplies to over 270,000 people. In addition, through its capacity-building interventions aimed at strengthening resilience among the affected population, in 2017 International Medical Corps trained nearly 1,800 local health workers in mental health and psychosocial services as well as protection services.

Emergency Response

Our emergency response experts, including our mobile medical units, work rapidly to address ongoing emergencies and the massive needs of families fleeing violence, ensuring increased access to primary healthcare services. International Medical Corps regularly distributes relief supplies to tens of thousands of people in need. This includes medical aids for people suffering from physical disabilities such as wheelchairs, walkers, air mattresses and toilet chairs, as well as hygiene items such as soap, shampoo and diapers.

Health Care

Civil war has taken a tremendous toll on Syria’s health care system, damaging and destroying many hospitals and clinics, and causing countless doctors and nurses to flee the country. Furthermore, many health facilities have become overburdened and unable to deal with the surge in caseloads that result from damage to nearby facilities, limited supplies and equipment, and shortages of qualified staff. International Medical Corps, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), currently supports three statics and two mobile primary healthcare clinics in Syria. These facilities provide vital primary health care services to Syrian families, including care for communicable and non-communicable diseases, mother and child health, reproductive health services, management of moderate malnutrition, and individual and group health education sessions. We also provide financial support for life and disability threatening conditions through referrals to contracted private hospitals and follow-up services.

Mental health and psychosocial support

The war has exposed Syrian families to extreme levels of violence. They have lost their loved ones, livelihoods and homes. To help Syrians cope with emotional distress and trauma, International Medical Corps integrates mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) into routine health care services. Our Recreational Activity Center in Jaramana in rural Damascus offers a wide range of activities to provide psychosocial support to children and families, including programs specifically targeting youth, as well as a rehabilitation program for children with development delays and disorders.

Protection

International Medical Corps mainstreams protection interventions within all our programming, including prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV). We provide case management for GBV survivors and run awareness campaigns in displacement shelters and health care clinics. In addition, in collaboration with accredited institutions, International Medical Corps offers vocational training and startup kits to vulnerable displaced and local populations to support in building resilience and restoring livelihoods.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene

International Medical Corps runs hygiene promotion campaigns in displacement shelters, schools and communities in an effort to prevent disease outbreaks and keep vulnerable families healthy. We also distribute hygiene kits and other basic materials and tools that help people stay clean and healthy. In addition, International Medical Corps has developed a training manual on hygiene education concepts and developed Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials and tools tailored to the Syrian context, which other NGO actors inside Syria have adopted. We recently updated the materials to include tools specifically addressed to children. So far, International Medical Corps has reached over 400 SARC volunteers and 25 staff members of various international NGOs with training on hygiene promotion.

Capacity Strengthening

International Medical Corps is the lead organization in Syria providing capacity building for frontline health workers operating within mental health and psychosocial services; child protection services; gender-based violence prevention and response; and hygiene promotion technical sectors. Since 2015 and in collaboration with UNHCR, International Medical Corps has conducted various technical trainings and capacity-building activities targeting over 3,000 Syrian responders. These trainings directly support our mission to foster self-reliance amongst populations affected by war and disaster.

Our Impact

In 2017 International Medical Corps performed over 415,000 primary healthcare consultations, 15% of which were for children below 5 years of age.
International Medical Corps has worked in Syria since 2007, first supporting Iraqi refugees and then responding to the humanitarian crisis created by the country’s civil war.

The Things We Carry: Stories of Syrian refugees and what they took with them as they fled.

Since 2011, when Syria erupted into civil war, more than 5.6 million citizens (a population roughly the size of Los Angeles and Philadelphia combined) have fled their homes by land and sea in search of refuge for themselves and their families. What to the carry when they go?

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