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

    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

Featured event
Supporting Syria and the Region

On 4 February 2016, the UK, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations will co-host a conference on the Syria crisis. The Supporting Syria and the Region conference will bring together world leaders to rise to the challenge of raising the money needed to help millions of people whose lives have been torn apart by the devastating conflict.

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Key publications
Expanding markets, generating jobs, fostering hope

UNDP portfolio for economic opportunities and sustainable livelihoods in the Syria Crisis Response

Building Resilience: In response to the Syria Crisis

A summary of UNDP's projects in response to the Syria Regional Crisis in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.

2015 Response Plans for Syria Crisis

Addressing increasing humanitarian, resilience and stabilization needs

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Beyond Borders: The Syria crisis in pictures
  • UNDP in Lebanon
  • UNDP in Lebanon
  • UNDP in Lebanon
  • UNDP in Lebanon
  • UNDP in Lebanon
  • UNDP in Lebanon

View more photos onFlickr