DRC is one of the largest INGOs operating from Damascus with a longstanding presence, having begun operations in 2008 and scaled-up response to the crisis in 2012. Today, DRC is able to meet the urgent needs of those affected by the violence across Syria through the provision of integrated and principled humanitarian assistance, services and advocacy.

With the crisis in Syria in its ninth year, the conflict is far from over. Civilians in Syria continue to face significant humanitarian and protection needs and to bear the brunt of a conflict that left 6.2 million internally displaced, 5.6 million as refugees and large parts of the country in ruins. There is no political settlement to the conflict in sight, intense hostilities in parts of the country persist and continued internal displacement and the loss of livelihoods have severely undermined coping mechanisms and community level resilience. 

The United Nations estimates that in 2019, 11.7 million people remain in need of multi-sectorial humanitarian assistance. 

DRC Syria’s response

DRC’s strategic approach combines emergency response with delivery of integrated assistance addressing protracted displacement and communities in the initial stages of immediate post-conflict recovery. Programming therefore responds to a broad spectrum of needs - from life-saving interventions for newly displaced populations to transitional and resilience-oriented solutions. This approach supports IDPs, returnees, and host community members through Shelter, WASH, Education, Protection, Livelihoods, and Risk Education support, reaching 327,485 unique beneficiaries in 2018. 

DRC continuously advocates for a comprehensive approach to the whole spectrum of internationally recognised durable solutions and maintains UNHCR’s position that the conditions inside Syria are not conducive for the safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees to Syria.

Access is negotiated under the terms of established memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC); and sub-MoUs with the Ministry of Education (MoE); Ministry of Local Affairs (MoLA).

DRC Syria’s vision is “to improve the safety, dignity and resilience of conflict affected populations by providing life-saving assistance and working towards sustainable long-term solutions”.

DRC Syria‘s interventions

Economic Recovery
DRC’s economic recovery programme aims to build the economic self-resilience of conflict and displacement affected populations through market-driven skills development, internship placements and micro-grant interventions in cooperation with the MoSAL and MoE with special attention to women, youth and the most vulnerable.

DRC Syria works to strengthen the protective environment for the most vulnerable children, women and men by empowering conflict affected communities. DRC provides Community Based services through six Community Centres in the country and protection activities at school level. Protection mainstreaming is also ensured across all DRC Syria programming.

DRC’s WASH activities focus on improving access to integrated and principled WASH services for the most vulnerable, conflict-affected communities by the repair of damaged water and sewage infrastructure and the support of solid waste management systems to help people access safe, sufficient and clean water and sanitation.

Shelter & Non-food Items
DRC Syria seeks to improve the quality of life through the rehabilitation of emergency shelters for displaced families and repair of damaged homes for returnee and host community owners. Repair works encompass repair of doors, windows, gaps in walls/ceilings, provision of lighting, electrical systems, heating, and WASH facilities in line with Syria Shelter sector minimum standards. 

DRC Syria’s education programme supports crisis-affected schools in Syria with rehabilitation, capacity building of teachers, and non-formal education classes while simultaneously forging pathways for out-of-school children to re-enrol in school.

Risk Education
Explosive contamination inside Syria continues to endanger lives and restrict the movement and access of millions of people, representing a dire need for clearance and risk awareness.

Since 2013, DRC has been implementing an Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Risk Education (RE) project in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. The overall objective of the project is to reduce the impact of ERW on the civilian population in Syria, primarily children and youth, by raising awareness and promoting safe behavior.

2019 Strategic focus

During 2019, DRC will continue to maintain emergency preparedness and response capability. This is in anticipation of large scale and potentially rapid displacement in the event of an escalation of fighting and change of control of territory in the north east and north west of Syria. At the same time, DRC will build on and consolidate its existing operation presence in existing governorates, and seek to expand its services to underserved rural and urban communities. Where access and safety conditions allow, and following a thorough assessment of needs, DRC will expand presence into newly accessible areas, including Northern Hama as the main conflict now is in the North West in Idlib areas, with the objective of providing a multi-sectoral and integrated assistance within livelihoods, education and shelter to improve outcomes for vulnerable communities.

DRC Syria programming is made possible thanks to the generous support from: