Syrian's Need Support To Survive Storms

Syria Relief, the UK’s largest Syria-focused NGO, is calling on the UK Government to reverse its decision to cut the foreign aid budget so that displaced Syrians have access to the support needed to survive the ongoing extreme weather.

In recent days, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan have been battered by severe winter storms, making life even more unbearable for displaced families living in devastating poverty. The temperature is predicted to reach -14 degrees and lower (the lowest recorded level for 40 years) while winds of up to 80km/h are tearing through displacement camps, damaging shelters and leaving families dangerously exposed to the elements.

In Lebanon, the harsh conditions are placing huge strain on families already forced to grapple with an unprecedented economic crisis that has plunged 9 in every 10 Syrian refugees into extreme poverty. The collapse of the Lebanese lira has caused prices to skyrocket, with many unable to afford the essentials that are needed to survive. Heating fuel has risen by a staggering 350%, making it impossible for families to stay warm. With no other option, many have resorted to burning toxic rubbish to heat their shelters, causing a major risk of respiratory illness.

Winter has a disastrous impact on the health of displaced Syrians living in informal settlements. Research commissioned by Syria Relief found that:

Only 29% of internally displaced Syrians inside Northern Syria and 52% Syrian refugees in Lebanon believe that their current accommodation adequately protects them from winter conditions.52% of displaced Syrians inside Northern Syria and 80% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon say they have someone in their household who has health conditions that would be worsened by exposure to winter cold weather.35% of displaced Syrians inside Northern Syria and 36% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon say they know of someone who has died or developed health conditions due to exposure to winter temperatures.

Othman Moqbel, Syria Relief’s Chief Executive says:

“Winter plunges displaced Syrian families into unprecedented suffering. With the ongoing economic turmoil making even the basics unaffordable, parents are forced to make impossible choices to survive, such as feeding their children or keeping them warm.

“The storms that currently rage across Syria and the surrounding countries are taking a heavy toll on human life. With only a fragile shelter for protection, displaced families are left defenceless against the record low temperatures and blizzard conditions. Many will be unable to survive without a major increase in humanitarian support. As a result, we are calling on the UK Government to reverse its decision to cut the foreign aid budget so that displaced Syrians are able to make it through the winter.

“Syria Relief continues to do everything possible to protect families from the harsh weather, but unless we see an increase in foreign aid, the human consequences will continue to rise.”

People who want to support our response to the storms and the wider Winter Emergency can donate at:

Syria Relief (UK registered charity no. 1143797) were founded in 2011 to provide humanitarian aid to victims of the Syrian conflict. They are a subsidiary of the parent charity Action For Humanity (UK registered charity no. 1154881). Syria Relief/Action For Humanity specialise in providing humanitarian aid and development projects during conflict. In 2020, Syria Relief have supported 2,091,325 victims of conflict in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan.


Some of Syria Relief’s work includes:

Access to clean water for 329,780 people

Food to 64,006 people

Life-saving NFI kits for 165,000 people

Education to 105,507 children

Medical care to 292,706 people

Representatives from Syria Relief are available for interview, contact Charles Lawley, Head of Communications and Advocacy


Call: +447535415060