Read caption NRC teams at the Adra IDP Centre in Damascus responding to the massive influx of IDPs from Eastern Ghouta. The influx was sudden, with high numbers of children, together with women, men, youth and elderly persons. Photo: NRC

NRC in Syria

NRC is one of only a few agencies operating across all of Syria. Against a backdrop of intense conflict, we work to provide emergency, transitional and longer-term assistance to people in need.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2019.


Humanitarian overview

Eight years into the war, the scale of humanitarian needs across Syria remains overwhelming as 11.7 million people are in need of assistance.

In Syria, 6.2 million people are internally displaced. 2.1 million children are out of school, and widespread destruction of civil registries has reduced access to necessary identity documents.

2018 witnessed significant shifts in territorial control. A majority of displaced people are now reliant on Damascus-based responders for assistance. Many families are living in damaged buildings with reduced access to basic services. The north continues to face instability and growing humanitarian needs. Renewed violence in Idlib has triggered new displacement; the response requires additional support from the international community.

NRC acknowledges that many parts of Syria are now witnessing reduced levels of violence and that most people seek to eventually return and rebuild their lives. Yet, many of the prevailing conditions which caused people to flee persist. The international community can play a role in ensuring those conditions are adequately met.

People we helped in Syria in 2019

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme
people benefited from our WASH programme

NRC's operation

NRC meets the needs of those affected by conflict including the internally displaced, refugees, their hosts and those who have returned. Amidst intense conflict, economic hardship and access constraints, we work to provide emergency, transitional and longer-term assistance to people in need.

We lead advocacy to promote unimpeded and sustained access to assistance for people across Syria. We advocate against, and work to prevent, unsafe and premature returns to and within Syria, and call for increased humanitarian funding to alleviate the hardships of the Syrian people.

NRC EducationEducation

Our teams ensure education for children and youth is prioritised, even in the most difficult circumstances. We work alongside communities to:

  • create opportunities for children to reconnect with learning through formal education pathways and self-learning initiatives
  • offer emergency education recreation and psychosocial activities
  • support the professional development of teachers
  • provide skills training for Syrian youth

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

Our ICLA teams:

  • deliver information on issues of civil documentation, employment law and legal identity
  • provide training on legal issues to peer humanitarian organisations
  • support shelter/WASH responders regarding housing, land and property issues

Currently NRC is in dialogue with the Syrian Government regarding the implementation of its legal aid programming.

NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

Many families struggle to gain a reliable income to meet their most basic needs. We strengthen resilience by:

  • enhancing local food systems and income-generation
  • supporting access to food by improving food processing and production

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

NRC supports the most vulnerable including those displaced and those who stayed behind. We:

  • deliver emergency assistance including tents, blankets and household items
  • create welcoming learning spaces through rehabilitation of classrooms and provision of quality furniture
  • rehabilitate damaged and sub-standard private housing

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

Our WASH teams:

  • distribute hygiene kits, which include soap, washing powder and sanitary items
  • provide and upgrade water and sanitation facilities
  • encourage hygiene promotion and community cleaning efforts

​NRC Syria is grateful for the generous support from our donors:


  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NFMA)
  • European Union (DG ECHO, DG NEAR)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
  • Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC)
  • USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)
  • Norwegian National Telethon

About NRC in Syria

International staff
Areas of operation
Syrian Arab Republic
Budget 2019
USD 31.5 million
National staff


Country Director