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 Conflict in Syria: what you can do to help

Providing financial assistance

You can support the people of Syria by donating funds to legitimate organisations or directly to your family and friends, however, it is unlawful to provide financial support to organisations participating in the Syrian conflict, or to terrorist organisations in general.

For more information on how to provide financial assistance to humanitarian efforts in Syria, view or download the information sheet:

For more information on how to donate funds through the United Nations, visit the website for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Organisations providing aid to Syria and the region

United Nations

The United Nations is endeavouring to render assistance to 9.3 million people affected by the Syrian crisis through its Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) and Regional Response Plan (RRP). For more information on these programmes and how you can donate funds through the United Nations, visit the website for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

In 2014, UNHCR projects that it will assist 3.3 million people (660,000 families) affected by the Syrian crisis. This includes internally displaced people within Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries. UNHCR is currently supplying emergency clothing, blankets and hygiene items to Syrian families as well as organising emergency education facilities to enable refugee children to attend school. Information about the situation in Syria and the region is available on the country profile page of the UNHCR website.

You can donate funds to assist UNHCR through Australia for UNHCR's Syria Crisis Appeal.

The International Committee of the Red Cross

In 2014, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has supplied food for more than 770,000 people in Syria, repaired water plants to supply fresh water to 1.6 million people and provided essential medical equipment to the Damascus National Hospital.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the largest humanitarian network in the world. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), a member of this network, launched a polio vaccination campaign in coordination with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to deliver vaccines to children in some of the most challenging areas within Syria. During 2013, the IFRC supported the SARC to deliver food to 1.2 million people, hygiene kits, mattresses and blankets to 1 million people and health care to 500,000 patients.

For more information about what the IFRC has achieved to date in assisting the Syria visit the IFRC website.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is providing winter clothes, health care and psychological help to the children of Syria, along with shelter and sanitation facilities. This year in Syria, UNICEF plans to vaccinate 2.2 million children, provide education for 3.9 million children and secure access to safe drinking water for 10 million people.

Save the Children

Save the Children is providing protection, education, health care, food, water and other supplies to Syrian refugees. Its core work focusses on alleviating poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease affecting the children of Syria.

The UN World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is delivering food to millions of Syrians struggling with starvation and malnutrition. This year, WFP staff will help 7 million Syrians living inside the country's borders as well as those living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

Community responses

Many community organisations and other groups have initiated campaigns and projects to support the Syrian people. For information on how you can get involved, visit Save the Children or the Australian Red Cross, which have information on the many ways that you can help out.

The National Imams Consultative Forum recently released a statement deploring the violence in Syria. The statement provides links to UN websites through which donations can be made to assist the Syrian people. To view this statement, visit the Blogs page.

Various groups have organised social media campaigns to raise funds and awareness of the situation in Syria. Examples include the #NoLostGeneration and the #ChildrenofSyria initiatives. Visit the Champion the Children of Syria website to find out more about these activities.

To find out more about UNHCR's social media campaigns, including #FutureofSyria, visit the UNHCR's Future of Syria website. The UN World Food Programme's social media campaign can be found by following #SyriaHunger.

If you hear of a social media campaign or other community activity that is raising awareness of the situation in Syria in a peaceful manner, we would like to hear about it. Send your suggestions to livingsafetogether@ag.gov.au.

Remember to use social media responsibly. It is illegal under Australian law to use social media in a way that would be reasonably regarded as menacing, harassing or offensive. It is also illegal to use it to make threats to kill or cause serious harm to another person.

While there are many ways you can support the people of Syria, you should first make sure that you are aware of the legal implications for Australians of providing assistance to individuals and groups in Syria.

For information on how you can get involved in current projects to build community resilience, please visit the Get Involved page.