05 July 2018

UNHCR is urgently mobilising supplies to assist an estimated 270,000 civilians displaced by a new surge in hostilities around Daraa in southern Syria. This is the largest displacement in this area since the Syrian conflict began.

At least 160,000 of those displaced have fled towards the Golan Heights area, and an estimated 40,000 people are near the Jordanian border. Meanwhile some 12-15,000 have reportedly fled to the Sweida governorate, in Syria's southwest.

With borders closed, civilians are unable to flee into neighbouring countries and many people are reportedly stranded in the desert area with little access to humanitarian assistance.

UNHCR is urgently calling for public support to help deliver emergency relief to families displaced by this offensive. 

Humanitarian relief is being delivered by UNHCR and its partners by accessing their pre-positioned aid supplies in the region. Cross-border humanitarian convoys are currently hold due to ongoing hostilities and security concerns, but will resume as soon as it is safe.

Current UNHCR operations include:

  • Drawing from existing stockpiles of emergency supplies to cover the needs of 75,000 people, including 100 large size tents, 7,500 family tents and 2,000 emergency shelter kits
  • Reaching some 28,000 individuals with relief items such as shelter kits, blankets, cooking sets, solar lamps and hygiene kits
  • Dispatching mobile teams to help provide psycho-social support, as well as identify sexual and gender-based violence and child protection concerns
  • Working with local parties and partners to access areas impacted by the offensive, where security permits, to assess protection needs and plan further response operations.

Naomi Steer, National Director, Australia for UNHCR said: 

"I am sure, like me, anyone seeing the traumatic images of men, women and children under fire and desperately seeking safety will hope UNHCR’s calls to safeguard civilian lives will be observed. It is a dire situation and UNHCR is mobilising relief operations to deliver relief such as shelter, solar lighting, blankets and cooking sets. I urge Australians to support UNHCR in this time of need and help provide life saving assistance.”

Australians can support UNHCR’s emergency relief for families displaced by the Syrian conflict by visiting unrefugees.org.au/Syria or by calling 1300 361 288.

For further information please contact:
Mark Macdonald, [email protected]0431 619 892
Wendy Bruere, [email protected], 0406 814 867


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