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Humanitarian aid during the Syrian Civil War

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Title: Humanitarian aid during the Syrian Civil War  
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Subject: International reactions to the Syrian Civil War, Military intervention against ISIL, Yaser Tabbara, Adib Shishakly, Ali al-Abdallah
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Humanitarian aid during the Syrian Civil War

US non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition forces, May 2013

International humanitarian aid during the Syrian Civil War is coordinated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 46/182.[1] The primary framework for this coordination is the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) which appealed for USD 1.41 billion in 2013 to meet the humanitarian needs of Syrians affected by the conflict.[2] The official United Nations data on the humanitarian situation and response is available online.[3] UNOCHA also provides information to the affected population in Arabic on Facebook[4] and in English on Twitter.[5]

Humanitarian assistance to refugees and their host communities in the countries neighboring Syria is coordinated by the United Nations Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator. Within these countries the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is mandated to protect and support Syrian refugees in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. The main framework for coordinating the refugee response is the Syria Regional Response Plan (RRP).[6] Detailed and up-to-date information on the refugee situation can be accessed on the Inter-agency Information Sharing Portal,[7] which is maintained by UNHCR.

Outside the SHARP and the RRP mechanism, the ICRC, in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, has been providing water, food, medical materials and other items to millions people affected by the fighting.[8]

Humanitarian response

United States

USAID and other government agencies in US delivered nearly $385 million of aid items to Syria in 2012 and 2013. The United States is providing food aid, medical supplies, emergency and basic health care, shelter materials, clean water, hygiene education and supplies, and other relief supplies.[9] Islamic Relief has stocked 30 hospitals and sent hundreds of thousands of medical and food parcels.[10]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has allocated over £1 billion (c. $1.6 billion) of aid since 2012 to over 30 aid organisations and partners including United Nations agencies, international non-governmental organisations and the Red Cross. The aid is aimed at meeting the immediate needs of vulnerable people in Syria and of refugees in other countries in the region including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. Additional funds have been allocated by the Department for International Development to help build longer-term stability in the region.[11][12][13][14]


The Norwegian government has provided 2,65 billion NOK ( approx. 338,5 million USD ) in humanitarian aid to Syria and its neighbouring countries since the beginning of the unrest in 2011. [15]


Iran has been exporting between 500 and 800 tonnes of flour daily, by sea and land, to Syria.[16]


Israel began providing assistance to wounded Syrian civilians from the onset of the Syrian civil war. According to Israeli media, 700 wounded Syrians had been treated in [19] The Israel Defense Forces also set up a field hospital along the border to help treat less threatening injuries.[20][21]


It was also claimed that in addition to Syrian civilians, Israel is providing medical treatment for rebels in Syria.[22][23][24] and allowed some fighters to cross the ceasefire line in Golan Heights to seek medical treatment on the Israeli-controlled side.[25] Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Ja'afari, also accused Israel of helping Jabhat al-Nusra and treating their wounded in the Golan Heights area.[26]


On 26 April 2013 a humanitarian convoy, inspired by Gaza Flotilla, departed from Turkey to Syria. Called Hayat (Life), it is set to deliver aid items to IDPs inside Syria and refugees in neighboring countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.[27]

World Health Organization

The [28]

Financial response

Financial assistance provided in response to the Syria conflict is tracked by UNOCHA through the Financial Tracking Service (FTS). FTS is a global, real-time database which records all reported international humanitarian aid (including that for NGOs and the Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement, bilateral aid, in-kind aid, and private donations). As at 18 September 2013 the top ten donors to Syria were: United States, European Commission, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway,[29] Canada, Japan, Australia and Saudi Arabia. As at 18 September 2013, assistance provided to the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP): January - December 2013 was USD661,049,938; with funding for the Syria Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP): January - December 2013 being $1,278,253,343.[30]


  1. ^ United Nations General Assembly: A/RES/46/182; Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations
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