Syria Humanitarian Crisis

August 23, 2012

APPEAL #: 6827
New CWS appeal goal: $ 175,000
Funds Received/Pledged to Date: $40,000



The ongoing conflict in Syria has displaced some 2.5 million persons, with hundreds of thousands displaced within the country and others crossing borders in neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Jordan is now host to some 150,000 Syrians, of whom 39,600 have been registered by the United Nations. The majority of Syrians in Jordan are staying with host families in various urban centers.

As the influx is putting pressure on the infrastructure within Jordan – in some cities, 15 percent more water is now needed – Jordanian authorities are directing all new refugees to a newly designated camp, Za’atari, near the town of Mafraq in northeast Jordan. Minimal facilities – such as tents and some water and sanitation infrastructure – have been established for 15,000 refugees. The camp was opened officially on July 29, and the population had already reached about 6,000 by August 14.

Conditions in the camp are hazardous, with extreme temperatures and high levels of dust and sand, the Lutheran World Federation reports. The camp is located about 50 miles from the border with Syria in a desert-like plain.

CWS response:

CWS is supporting efforts of our partner Lutheran World Federation, a fellow member of the ACT Alliance, which is providing shelter for the refugees at the Za’atari refugee camp.

CWS-supported efforts will be to provide better shelter to approximately 300 refugee families, or about 1,500 people, who are currently living in tents in Za’atari refugee camp. Specifically, the project will be to replace tents with 300 pre-abricated housing units which are manufactured locally.

The shelter is needed because extreme differences in temperatures – hot days and cold nights – and levels of dust and sand make life in the tents extremely difficult.

Budget for the LWF portion:

The cost of each housing unit is $3,000 to $3,500 USD, with an approximate overall total cost of $1 million for the entire project, which includes purchasing, transport, insurance and costs of layout and groundwork.

Note: This appeal expansion expands CWS’s commitment to Syria-related work, which also includes support for the work of long-time partner and fellow ACT Alliance member International Orthodox Christian Charities. Details of that response are available here.

For that portion of the appeal, CWS is seeking $100,000 for CWS-supported IOCC efforts. The total budget of the IOCC work is $3.6 million. The breakdown of this includes $2,614,000 for direct humanitarian assistance, which includes food packages, various kits and clothing. The cost of other parts of the response includes: Health care/training awareness ($24,000); education ($80,000); shelter/livelihoods ($489,690); and operational costs ($317,000).

How to help:

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.