Humanitarian context

After more than 10 years of crisis, humanitarian needs remain in Syria. According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview 2020, 5,6 million people are considered vulnerable in terms of access to shelter and more than 7 million children are also identified as requiring educational support, with more than one in three schools damaged or destroyed. Access to water, hygiene and sanitation continues to be a daily challenge for 10,7 million people. According to the United Nations, more than 13 million people are in a state of vulnerability.

In addition, Syria’s economy experienced an unprecedented slowdown during 2020, exacerbated by ten years of crisis, as well as by international sanctions and the indirect effects of the financial crisis in Lebanon. The exchange rate of the Syrian pound against the US dollar has gone from 47 Syrian Pounds for one dollar before the crisis to a maximum of 3000 Syrian pounds for one dollar in June 2020, with the implementation of the Caesar Act. These various factors have led to a sharp increase in food insecurity, from 7,9 million people in 2019 to 9,3 million in July 2020 according to the World Food Programme.

Finally, the global pandemic of COVID-19 (first case detected in Syria on 22 March 2020) continues to strain health systems and increase vulnerabilities.

Key figures

Year of mission
National staff
Expatriate staff
2 049 554

Description of the mission

Première Urgence Internationale has been present in Syria since May 2008. Since 2012, it has been one of the few international NGOs authorized to operate in the government-controlled zone, and implements activities in 12 out of 14 governorates. In 2020, Première Urgence Internationale continued to implement its integrated strategy in order to respond to the multi-sectoral needs of the population. The NGO provides an emergency response to the needs of displaced populations by focusing on the rehabilitation of collective shelters and access to hygiene and water. At the same time, the mission intervenes in more stabilized areas in order to create the conditions for people to provide for themselves and gradually return to a normal life.

Premiere Urgence Internationale in action

Première Urgence Internationale works in Syria in various sectors. The NGO rehabilitates the flats of returnees, drinking water and sanitation networks as well as other essential public infrastructures (health centers, industrial bakeries, etc.). Thus, every hour, 48 people benefit from access to drinking water and every week 19 families (95 people) can return to their rehabilitated homes thanks to projects carried out by Première Urgence Internationale. The mission also facilitates access to education by setting up remedial education activities, school rehabilitation and teacher training, which represents 45 students per day supported in their school project. The Première Urgence Internationale teams are working to strengthen the return to autonomy of the population through vocational training programs adapted to the local market, and support for entrepreneurs with the aim of relaunching their professional activity and thus enabling the training of two people per day.

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic in Syria, Première Urgence Internationale contributed to the efforts of humanitarian actors to improve hygiene, reduce the risks of propagation and protect populations vulnerable to COVID-19 by enabling the implementation of immediate and decisive activities. The mission supported the establishment of quarantine centers and provided personal protective equipment (PPE). Finally, in order to increase awareness of barrier measures against COVID-19, while supporting community-based management, the NGO carried out hygiene promotion activities.

The mission in Syria in pictures

Our partners

Programme Alimentaire Mondial

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Stats Each year, Première Urgence Internationale allocates most of its resources to the programs and activities and only 0.2% to fundraising. Your donations are crucial.

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