11 October 2019

Tens of thousands of civilians are already on the move to escape the escalating conflict in northeastern Syria, with hundreds of thousands in harm’s way, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Australia for UNHCR has launched an appeal to raise urgent funds, calling on Australians to give generously and support families caught in this new conflict, which is exacerbating what is already the world’s largest displacement crisis.

“These vulnerable people urgently need safe shelter, food, water and core relief items, and UNHCR’s response for the Syria crisis is currently just 35% funded,” said Naomi Steer, National Director of Australia for UNHCR.

“This will only get worse as bitterly cold conditions sweep across the region coming into winter, and urgent support is needed to provide life-saving protection and assistance to those already exposed and in need, mostly women and children,” she said.

“The UN Refugee Agency has been supporting Syrian refugees and internally displaced people throughout eight years of conflict, and is on the ground now inside Syria and across the region, delivering life-saving support to displaced families.”

Syria remains the largest refugee crisis in the world, with 5.6 million Syrian refugees hosted in the region and an additional 6.2 million internally displaced.

With needs expected to rise quickly as the situation develops, UNHCR has called on all parties to ensure unfettered access to the region for humanitarian organisations to carry out their critical work.

“Donations to the Syria crisis will provide life-saving protection and assistance to families who have no one else to rely on.”


Australians wanting to support the UN Refugee Agency’s emergency response can donate online at www.unrefugees.org.au/syriancrisis or call 1300 361 288.

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