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Danish engagements in Syria

The conflict in Syria has now entered its 11th year and continues to have major human costs for civilians. At the same time, the security situation in the country is still complex - with hostilities across different groups and the presence of extremist movements. The fighting is constantly creating new displacements of civilians. Overall, the UN estimates that over 12 million people have been forced from their homes as a result of the Syrian conflict. About 6.7 million people are internally displaced in Syria, and approx. 5.6 million have fled to neighboring countries. It is estimated that some 450,000 Syrians have lost their lives since the outbreak of conflict in March 2011.

The humanitarian needs in Syria are enormous, and they have increased in recent years, i.a. due to the Covid-19 pandemic and drought in northeastern Syria. More than 90 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The UN estimates that over 13 million people in Syria need broad-spectrum humanitarian assistance in the form of protection, food aid, health, education, etc. However, humanitarian needs are severely underfunded.

The Danish humanitarian efforts in Syria focus to a large extent on refugees and internally displaced persons as well as affected local communities. They were implemented i.a. such as support for the distribution of emergency items and food, assistance with rehousing (tents, etc.), psychosocial support, assistance to vulnerable women and children, protection-related initiatives, strengthened access to schooling and health, and income-generating activities, e.g. through support for small farmers' production and access to markets, repair of irrigation systems, etc. This is happening within the framework of the EU's overall line of not supporting an actual reconstruction of Syria until a political process is well under way.