Kutna, a refugee from Syria, sits among family members in the room where they are living in an apartment block in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon. © UNHCR/Hannah Maule-ffinch

Geneva, 9 March – As the Syrian crisis enters its tenth year, the Syrian people continue to experience acute tragedy. Every second Syrian man, woman and child has been forcibly displaced since the start of the conflict in March 2011 – often, more than once. Today, Syrians are the largest refugee population in the world.

Year after year, the Syrian people have also shown incredible resilience. While the majority of refugees in neighbouring countries live below the poverty line, they also strive to make a living and create a future for themselves and their families; looking to return home but contributing to the economies of the countries who generously host them, while they stay. In North-West Syria, fighting has tragically led to almost a million people displaced since December 2019, living in terrible conditions; at the same time, in other parts of the country, many families and communities are trying to rebuild their lives, and move on, despite widespread disruption of services, destruction of property and economic hardship.

The last nine years have also been a story of remarkable solidarity. The governments and people of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, as well as some countries beyond the region, have provided Syrians protection and safety, opening up their schools, hospitals and their homes to Syrian refugees.

The international aid response has expanded in scale and depth over the last nine years, thanks to generous contributions by government donors, the private sector and individuals. What started as a humanitarian response has been matched by the engagement of key development actors, such as the World Bank, providing structured support to host governments and institutions, bolstering the resilience of both host communities and refugees. Over US$14 billion has been channeled through the Regional Refugee Response and Resilience Plan (3RP) since 2012 and delivered by a coalition of over 200 partners, coordinated by UNHCR and UNDP. Much more has been provided through bilateral aid and other multilateral mechanisms.

“I’m deeply humbled by the courage and resilience of Syrians. Day in, day out, they have faced suffering and deprivation,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “As this crisis moves into its tenth year, I urge the world not to forget those who remain displaced in Syria, and those who have been forced to flee abroad. We must recognize and support the generosity of the neighbouring countries – one of the greatest acts of solidarity in decades. However, we must stay the course. More is needed.”

Learn more here.