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 2018.

Humanitarian overview

Eight years into the war, the scale of humanitarian needs across Syria remains overwhelming, with 13 million people 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 the displaced are now reliant on Damascus-based agencies for assistance. Many are living in damaged buildings with limited access to basic services. The North East and North West of Syria continue to face instability. The Russia – Turkey agreement in Idlib is fragile and prospects for a US withdrawal in 2019 raises concerns over the future of humanitarian access.

NRC acknowledges that many parts of Syria have now reached a greater level of stability 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 2018

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 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 these great needs.

NRC EducationEducation

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

  • rehabilitate learning spaces and build makeshift schools
  • create opportunities for children to return to school or access education through self-learning initiatives
  • distribute teaching and student learning materials
  • provide skills training for Syrian youth

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

Our team:

  • provide information and legal counselling services on issues related to civil documentation 
  • provide information on the services available in the concerned areas of displacement
  • offer information and legal assistance regarding housing, land and property rights


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

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

  • provide emergency food rations
  • work to strengthen food production and income generating opportunities


NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

NRC supports both newly displaced people and people living in camps or informal settlements. We:

  • deliver emergency assistance including tents, blankets and household items
  • provide shelter upgrades and communal lighting, site improvements, walkways and drainage
  • rehabilitate damaged and sub-standard 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 temporary water and sanitation facilities in emergencies
  • support waste management in camps and informal settlements
  • rehabilitate and install essential water and sanitation facilities at the community level
​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 (country)

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


Country Director