Aisha, a young Syrian girl, stands outside her family's tent in Lebanon while snow falls around her.

Winter Survival Fund

Donate now to help families find safety and warmth this winter.

Millions of vulnerable people across the Middle East, Afghanistan and Ukraine are facing a harsh winter and urgently need your help.

Every winter, refugees face life-threatening challenges, but this year will be even worse. The war in Ukraine has not only displaced millions, but also triggered global food and fuel shortages. 

Ukrainian people are rushing to repair bombed-out houses before the first snows fall.

Displaced Afghans are tracking the rising cost of gas in despair, wondering how they can afford to stay warm while also feeding their children.

And Syrian refugees, who have been unable to return home for over a decade, simply don’t know how they will survive yet another gruelling winter in a leaky tent.

UNHCR is providing shelter, cash assistance, and life-saving essentials such as thermal blankets and heating appliances.

Please donate now to help families find safety and warmth this winter. 

“It’s hard to find the means to support my family with medicine, winter clothes and slippers. If we had not received winter assistance, we would have struggled a lot."

Shatha and her father, Abu Safwan, were among the Syrian refugees who received cash assistance in Azraq Camp, Jordan, last year.

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Shatha’s Story

Shatha, a 38-year-old Syrian refugee, has struggled through freezing temperatures in Azraq Camp in Jordan for the last five years, ever since she fled her home in Homs, Syria.

“My life was like heaven,” she says. There, she was surrounded by family members, but after becoming a refugee, her life changed dramatically. In Azraq Camp, she is the sole caretaker for her elderly father and mother, as well as her brother who has mental and physical disabilities.

In winter, though, Shatha needs some extra help. Refugees in the camp live in small, prefabricated caravans which often flood or are damaged by heavy wind and rain.

“The camp is in the desert, and it gets really cold here, the weather is harsh and it’s very hard to conduct daily life in the winter,” says Shatha.

Shatha has struggled financially because of limited opportunities and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been unable to find a job in the camp, where she would be able to continue to support her family.

“It’s hard to find the means to support my family with medicine, winter clothes and slippers,” she says.

Last winter, Shatha’s family was among those who received UNHCR's cash assistance. With the money, she refilled the gas cylinders for heating and bought winter clothes and medicine for her parents.

“If we had not received winter assistance, we would have struggled a lot."

UNHCR is striving to weatherproof shelters, distribute cash assistance and distribute winter essentials before the cold sets in, but time is running out.

Donate to our Winter Survival fund now.

Shelter repairs

Your gift can help UNHCR's shelter teams rehabilitate and weatherproof damaged homes in Ukraine before the snows come. 

Winter survival kits

Your gift can provide Syrian families with winter essentials like thermal blankets, mattresses, tarpaulins and gas cookers.

Cash assistance

Your gift can provide Afghan families with cash assistance so they can afford food, gas for heating, medicine and other winter essentials.

Our fundraising commitment

The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.

Humanitarian programs