Syrian Refugee Crisis

Emergency Response

In Brief

According to the UNHCR, over 2.9 million registered refugees reside in Turkey, more than a million live in Lebanon, and well over a half million live in Jordan.

Beginning in 2014, people fleeing the Syrian civil war started to look increasingly to Europe for refuge.

To help Syrian refugees who have fled or are fleeing their war-wracked country, Direct Relief is providing medical aid to doctors, medical missions, and local organizations — both within Syria and beyond its borders.

Direct Relief’s Response

To help Syrian refugees who have fled or are fleeing their war-wracked country, Direct Relief is providing medical aid to doctors, medical missions, and local organizations — both within Syria and beyond its borders.


Direct Relief partners with United Muslim Relief and Syria Relief and Development (SRD) to provide critical medical supplies for hospitals and primary healthcare centers in Syria, including those in and near Aleppo.

SRD supports over 50 different medical facilities in Syria, ranging from reproductive health clinics to hospitals. Direct Relief has made prenatal vitamins and midwife kits available to SRD, as well as emergency health kits, which includes tents that can used as mobile field clinics and solar suitcases that provide lighting inside the tents.

Direct Relief supports the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), an organization that oversees 55 health projects in Syria and helps Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. SAMS is also responsible for the ‘Save Syrian Lives Campaign,’ which seeks to mobilize medical resources for people displaced within Syria and beyond its borders.


Responding to the ongoing refugee crisis throughout the Middle East and Europe, Direct Relief recently sent 10 pallets of requested supplies to a local Greek partner organization, Apostoli.

Working with the Regional Health Authority, Apostoli is now distributing donations of wound care supplies, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, personal hygiene supplies, blankets, and other essential items to major refugee camps around Athens.

The Skaramagas and Schisto refugee camps are where the majority of the estimated 70,000 refugees in Greece are residing.  With the northern border with Macedonia now closed, these refugees are stuck in camps with little to no access to health and other basic services.


Direct Relief is supporting the AMAR Foundation, an organization that equips, staffs, and maintains a network of health centers and clinics throughout Iraq. Direct Relief has supplied the AMAR Foundation with specific items for the treatment of refugees, displaced persons, and indigent patients in need of medical care.  Included among the items supplied by Direct Relief are sutures, gloves, pulse oximeters, gynecological instruments, and Vaseline petroleum jelly. Boeing has graciously transported the shipments by air, free-of-charge.


Since August 2013, Direct Relief has worked with Salaam Cultural Museum to equip 24 doctors providing care to refugees in Jordan. The value of medical supplies totals $5,335,036.

Direct Relief is also assisting through medical mission trips. In partnership with Unilever’s Vaseline brand, Direct Relief recently conducted dermatological outreach in the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp for people with skin-related injuries, infections, or diseases.

Direct Relief gave $300,000 to the Royal Health Awareness Society for their Healthy Community Clinics programs, which focuses on treating non-communicable diseases, like diabetes and heart disease.

Direct Relief is coordinating with government officials and local organizations to meet the rising need for health services among Jordan’s refugee population.


Per capita, Lebanon is host to the region’s largest portion of refugees. Syrian refugees now comprise nearly a third of Lebanon’s total population. This population increase parallels an increased need for medicines and supplies to treat a range of health conditions that includes cardiac disease, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and dyslipidemia.

To help meet this demand, Direct Relief is working with its long-time partner, America Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA). ANERA currently supports upwards of 500 healthcare facilities across Lebanon.  Since 2011, Direct Relief has provided ANERA with nearly $5 million in medicines and medical supplies.*

Macedonia & Serbia

Hospitals in Macedonia and Serbia are facing higher patient numbers and have reported shortages of medicines and medical supplies.

To help replenish depleted inventories and address the growing health needs of refugees, Direct Relief is working with central and eastern European organizations to deliver medical supplies to points of need.


Direct Relief is working with Turkish organization ANSAGIAD to provide material support to the Republic of Turkey Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), which operates 23 refugee camps in Turkey and supports roughly 300,000 people outside of the camps.

ANSAGIAD was originally established to promote business and cooperation between Syria and Turkey but has transitioned into a critical provider of services for Syrian refugees.

For the most recent information on Direct Relief’s distribution of medical aid, please see the AID MAP, which updates on an hourly basis.

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