Responding to the crisis in Syria

The United Nations and humanitarian organisations are appealing for US$8 billion in 2016 to help people affected by the Syria conflict. And they are urging people everywhere to raise their voices to demand an end to the suffering.


Now entering its sixth year, the conflict in Syria has drastically rolled back the country’s human development achievements. By the end of 2014, Syria ranked 173rd out of 183 countries on the Human Development Index, down from 113 out of 189 in 2010 before the conflict.  

More than 250,000 people have been killed, and nearly 12 million Syrians are displaced. This includes internally displaced persons and those seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, where already vulnerable host communities are struggling to cope with the influx of new arrivals.

Key infrastructure and economic sectors have been devastated due to the prolonged conflict. Agricultural production has plummeted, and many now face hunger and malnutrition. In addition, 54.3% of Syrian workers are unemployed (3.339 million people), and 75 % of the population are living in poverty.

What does UNDP do in Syria?

As one of the development agencies with the largest presence in Syria, UNDP works with affected communities to help them cope, rebuild, recover and protect development gains.

Some examples of UNDP's work: providing temporary jobs to affected people; clearing debris and helping local businesses to recover productive assets; supporting basic health services such as ambulatory service, reproductive health support, and assistance for people with disabilities; and creating solid waste removal projects and other initiatives to prevent communicable diseases and illnesses linked to poor nutrition and living conditions.

In countries neighbouring Syria, UNDP supports host communities to cope with the influx of refugees by improving infrastructure, and boosting local economic and employment opportunities. We especially focus on vulnerable groups, such as young people, those with disabilities and women.

UNDP’s development approach focuses on building resilience and ensuring that communities not only recover from the crisis but also improve the longer-term development prospects needed to move toward a lasting peace.

Our stories

UNDP in Syria

Defending the Orontes: A community effort to restore a city lifeline

A resilience project in Syria has put together team to clean up the Orontes, picking up garbage along the river banks and surrounding gardens and replanting trees and agricultural crops. more 

UNDP in Syria

The resilient women of Syria

As part of its Early Recovery and Resilience Programme in Syria, UNDP supports an initiative to provide job opportunities in the field of plumbing to a number of IDPs and host community members in Tartous. more 

UNDP in Syria

Syria: Restoring Roman wells to bring relief

In Syria's rural areas, long-abandoned Roman wells have become more than a relic of a bygone civilization. For communities struggling to cope with the disastrous ongoing more 

UNDP in Jordan

Emergency jobs sow long-term livelihoods for youth in Jordan

Nineteen-year-old Aya is one of 750 youth who have completed training through the 3x6 Emergency Employment Project, part of UNDP's regional response to the crisis in Syria. more 

View more stories