Humanitarian situation rapidly deteriorating in northeast Syria

The highly volatile security situation is impeding the delivery of vital humanitarian aid

AMMAN, 17 October 2019 – CARE warned today that humanitarian needs continue to rise in northeast Syria, as the conflict in the area deepens. Civilians are escaping the fighting and sheltering with relatives, in public spaces, or in overcrowded camps. While health service provision has been disrupted due to the violence in some areas, other health facilities are overwhelmed with emergency cases, as some 145 civilian casualties and over 40 deaths are reported by the United Nations.

“We are witnessing an already dire humanitarian situation deteriorate by the day. Most Syrians have already moved multiple times in this conflict, and are now looking for safety with only the clothing on their backs. The UN estimates currently suggest that up to 400,000 people could be displaced and require urgent humanitarian assistance and protection,” said Nirvana Shawky, CARE’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The escalation of fighting is disrupting life-saving humanitarian aid to vulnerable people, including more than 700,000 who were already internally displaced prior to the outbreak of fighting on 9 October.

The highly volatile security situation is impeding the delivery of vital humanitarian aid as supplies are cut off and aid workers are either evacuated or themselves displaced.

“More than half of civilians in northeast Syria were in need of humanitarian assistance before the latest fighting began. We must ensure that all measures are taken to facilitate full, safe and unfettered access to men, women and children in need,” adds Shawky.

With humanitarian needs on the rise, the aid response is already highly stretched. Aid agencies are facing another ongoing crisis in northwest Syria, with almost half a million people displaced since May. The international community must act urgently to avert a humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria.

CARE has spokespeople available. For media inquiries, please contact:

Lama Alsafi | 613-228-5641

Notes to editors:

  • CARE is assisting vulnerable and displaced people in northeast Syria by providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion. CARE is carrying out much-needed distributions of hygiene kits and winter clothes and providing psycho-social support, including psychological first aid to those immediately affected by the violence. CARE plans to reach 20,000 people in northeast Syria by the end of October with life-saving and emergency assistance.
  • CARE has been providing aid in Syria since 2014, and has reached more than 4.5 million people so far. Our work is focused on food security, livelihoods, women’s economic empowerment, shelter, water and sanitation, maternal and reproductive health support, and psycho-social support for people in crisis.


About CARE Canada

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE develops solutions alongside women and girls in developing countries to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty and out of crisis. CARE stands with women and girls around the world in economic empowerment. We bring women, girls, and their communities together to challenge inequality while facing issues like food insecurity, climate change, and emergency relief in times of crisis or disaster. In 2018, CARE worked in 95 countries and reached more than 56 million people around the world.

To learn more about CARE Canada, visit


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