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 2020.


Humanitarian overview

Ten years into the war, the scale of humanitarian needs across Syria remains overwhelming as more than 11 million people are in need of assistance, including 6.1 million internally displaced. Millions of children are out of school and access to identity documents is hindered because of the widespread destruction of civil registries.

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a public health crisis and driven food insecurity to record levels. The health sector lacks capacity to deal with or appropriately detect an outbreak.

In north Syria, ongoing conflict has caused massive displacement, further straining the humanitarian response. Families live in crammed displacement camps or share crowded shelters in overburdened host communities. The government-controlled south and central areas of the country have been devastated by conflict and returns to these places put further pressure on the overwhelmed infrastructure.

Parts of Syria have witnessed reduced levels of violence and people seek to eventually return and rebuild their lives. Yet, prevailing conditions which caused people to flee persist.


People we helped in Syria in 2020

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 constraints, and Covid-19, we provide emergency, transitional and longer-term assistance.

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


NRC EducationEducation

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

  • create opportunities for children to resume their education, formally and through self-learning programmes
  • 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
  • deliver information on access to services and rights
  • support referral networks to bridge the gap between people in need and services


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

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

  • enhancing local food systems, income-generation and business grants
  • strengthening food processing and production, ensuring local access to food
  • providing emergency cash for families to cover immediate basic needs


NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

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

  • deliver emergency assistance such as tents, blankets, and basic essential household items
  • create welcoming learning spaces through the rehabilitation of classrooms and provision of quality furniture
  • rehabilitate damaged or sub-standard community infrastructure


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

Our WASH teams:

  • provide emergency water and storage to displaced people in camps
  • provide WASH support (sanitation facilities, waste zones, safe water) to health care facilities as part of the Covid-19 response
  • 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)
  • Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA)
  • Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC)
  • the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • German Federal Foreign Office
  • Education Cannot Wait
  • French Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS)


About NRC in Syria

International staff
Areas of operation
Syrian Arab Republic
Budget 2020
NOK 361 million
National staff


Country Director