Today an estimated 16.7 million Syrians (or over 70% of the population) are dependent on humanitarian assistance, more than 7.2 million are internally displaced, and approximately 5 million are refugees residing in Türkiye, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and other northern African countries. The conflict in Syria is exacerbated by the resurging threat of ISIS and the continued deterioration of the Syrian economy. 


Improving Access to Essential Services

USAID supports the rehabilitation of essential services such as clean water, electricity, and healthcare in non-regime areas of northeast Syria to stabilize communities liberated from ISIS, prevent extremist actors from re-emerging, and foster a safe environment for refugees and displaced persons to return home. USAID also contributes to the Syria Recovery Trust Fund to support key essential services and access to finance benefitting more than eight million Syrians.

Supporting Economic Recovery

USAID is helping local businesses improve and expand their operations to revive key economic sectors, such as agriculture and livestock, and to create employment opportunities in non-regime areas of northeast Syria. USAID also provides skills development training, career counseling opportunities, and entrepreneurship training to vulnerable populations, including women and persons with disabilities.  USAID’s Economic Management for Stabilization (EMS) program catalyzed $6.5 million in foreign direct investment in non-regime areas of northeast Syria, driving economic growth by creating jobs in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, health, and agriculture industries.

Strengthening Local Actors

USAID works with civil society organizations to aggregate community needs and advocate for community interests with relevant governance actors. USAID is promoting stability within communities in non-regime areas of northeast Syria by encouraging the participation of citizens, civil society, and other stakeholders at the local level.  USAID continues to support the Syria Civil Defence (also known as “the White Helmets”) with a focus on their lifesaving emergency first responder work.  The White Helmets were the first to respond to the deadly earthquakes in February 2023, rescuing over 3,000 people from the rubble. In February 2023, USAID announced the first direct grant to the White Helmets in its 13 year partnership, a major milestone meant to maximize support for moderate civil society in northwest Syria. 


Food Security

In 2024, a record 15.4 million people in Syria—nearly two-thirds of the country’s population—are in need of food or agricultural assistance. USAID’s Syria Humanitarian Office (SHO) food assistance reaches approximately 2.4 million Syrians inside Syria and nearly 800,000 Syrian refugees in neighboring countries per month, as of January 2024.


Despite challenging security conditions on the ground, with support from USAID’s SHO, 13 partners provide critical health assistance, including delivering community-based health education, direct health services through mobile medical units, equipment for health facilities, reproductive health services, and training for Syrian medical workers.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

Syria’s displaced populations often lack access to WASH services, increasing their vulnerability to infectious and waterborne illnesses. USAID’s SHO supports 15 NGO partners, as well as UN agencies to provide WASH assistance in Syria. USAID/BHA partners distribute essential hygiene items to vulnerable populations and enhance WASH facilities by rehabilitating small-scale sanitation and water systems—such as handwashing stations and latrines—in displacement camps and informal settlements. In northern Syria, SHO partners are increasing access to safe drinking water through emergency water trucking and the distribution of water storage tanks and water treatment devices. 


USAID’s SHO funds 17 protection partners, including UNFPA and UNICEF, to provide case management, referral services, and psychosocial support for children at high risk of exploitation and abuse. USAID also supports safe spaces for women and girls, as well as medical supplies and specialized training for health staff to provide appropriate care for gender-based violence survivors throughout Syria.