Where We Work

Syria

Syria Crisis

The crisis continues in its ninth year

Syria’s civil war, now in its ninth year with no end in sight, has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and sparked the largest population exodus since World War II, with more than 6 million displaced inside Syria and more than 5.6 million seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Many of those displaced inside Syria 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 population of 21 to 22 million

Displaced Persons

72% 

More than two-thirds of Syria’s population is displaced

In Need of Assistance

11.7 million

inside Syria

Brutal Civil War in Syria Enters Ninth 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

Roughly 11.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. International Medical Corps has been on the front lines of the crisis since 2012.

Syria Crisis

Now in its ninth 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

After enduring nine years of war, Syrians continue to face incomprehensible levels of violence and human suffering.

Humanitarian Needs

Essential services in Syria are widely lacking, including health, shelter, food, education, water and sanitation.

Population Displacement

More than 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.

At the same time, we have been supporting tens of thousands of the millions of Syrians who have sought refuge in neighboring countries, including in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey. And when the door briefly opened for refugees to enter Europe, International Medical Corps was there to help as they landed on Greek islands following often-perilous journeys across the Mediterranean.

With operations based in Damascus, in 2018 International Medical Corps supported 328,800 beneficiaries. We also performed more than 254,000 primary healthcare consultations, 17% of which were for children below 5 years of age; engaged more than 4,300 people in psychosocial support activities; and provided hygiene kits or other related items to nearly 90,000 individuals. In addition, through our capacity-building interventions aimed at strengthening resilience among the affected population, in 2018 International Medical Corps trained more than 2,600 local healthcare workers.

Emergency Response

Our emergency response experts, including our mobile medical units, work rapidly to address ongoing emergencies and the 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, including assistance for those suffering from physical disabilities by providing medical aids (such as wheelchairs, walkers, air mattresses and toilet chairs).

Healthcare

Civil war has taken a tremendous toll on Syria’s healthcare 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 cases that result from damage to nearby facilities, and are hampered by limited supplies and equipment, as well as shortages of qualified staff. International Medical Corps, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), currently supports three static and three mobile primary healthcare clinics in Syria. These facilities provide vital primary healthcare 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. We also provide support for life-threatening and disability-causing conditions by referring patients 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 those affected cope with emotional distress and trauma, International Medical Corps integrates mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) into routine healthcare 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 designed for youth), and a rehabilitation program for children with developmental delays and disorders.

Protection

International Medical Corps provides protection interventions, including prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV), as part of all our programming. We provide case management for GBV survivors and run awareness campaigns in displacement shelters and healthcare clinics. In addition, in collaboration with accredited institutions, International Medical Corps offers vocational training and startup kits to vulnerable displaced and local populations, to help build resilience and restore livelihoods.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

International Medical Corps runs hygiene-promotion campaigns in displacement shelters, schools and communities, as part of 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 materials and tools tailored to the Syrian context that other humanitarian aid organizations in Syria have adopted. We recently updated the materials to include tools specifically geared toward children. So far, International Medical Corps has trained more than 400 SARC volunteers and 25 staff members of various international NGOs on hygiene promotion.

Capacity Building

International Medical Corps trains frontline health workers operating within the areas of mental health and psychosocial services, child-protection services, gender-based violence prevention and response, and hygiene promotion. Since 2015, in collaboration with UNHCR, International Medical Corps has provided various technical training programs and capacity-building activities to thousands of Syrian responders. These programs directly support our mission to foster self-reliance among populations affected by crises.

Our Impact

In 2018, International Medical Corps performed more than 254,000 primary healthcare consultations, 17% 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—roughly the population of Los Angeles and Philadelphia combined—have fled their homes by land and sea in search of refuge for themselves and their families. What do they carry when they go?

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