Sep 25, 2020

World Vision's Syrian Refugee Response 2019

The conflict in Syria has now entered its 10th year and remains one of the world’s most devastating and intractable humanitarian and protection crises. There are at least 5 million Syrian refugees, most in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

World Vision's Response

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian and development organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

The World Vision Syria Response, based out of Amman, covers programmes in Syria, Jordan and Turkey. We also have national offices in Lebanon and Iraq, responding to both domestic development/humanitarian needs and the Syrian refugee crisis.

Since 2013, the Syria Response has been at the leading edge of World Vision’s work in fragile contexts, delivering innovative and evidence-based programming across three diverse countries.

Directly and through partners, we support protection, health, education, livelihoods, water & sanitation, and food security projects to vulnerable families. Our approach focuses on the holistic needs of the child, embedded within their community structures.


Shelter & Emergency Response

  • 53,455 adults reached in Syria
  • 74,793 children reached in Syria

At least 6.2 million people are internally displaced in Syria, and more than one million IDPs are estimated reside in last-resort informal settlements. Active conflict and mass displacement has created huge needs for shelter and non-food items, particularly in the North-East, North-West and rural Damascus. World Vision has mobilised a Rapid Response Mechanism in North-West Syria to deliver emergency assistance to tens of thousands of households – including kitchen kits, hygiene kits, winter assistance and multi-purpose cash grants.


Health & Nutrition

  • 50,923 adults reached in Syria
  • 57,303 children reached in Syria

World Vision aims to improve health outcomes for the population, particularly for women and children. This includes protecting children from preventable disease and increasing access to essential health services. We utilize two WV Project Models; Community Health Committees, and Timed and Targeted Counselling. WV delivers flexible, conflict sensitive health services across different governorates in Syria, including 10 mobile medical units, Primary Health Care centres, a dialysis centre, maternity hospitals and ambulance services, covering host communities, returnees and IDPs. WV’s Health and WASH sectors are integrated to respond at the household and health facility level. We also provide incorporate cash-for-health programmes to enhance maternal and new-born health, improve referrals and empower households in health decision-making.

World Vision has been working on establishing COVID-19 infection prevention and case management following World Health Organisation’s (WHO) protocols. Community health workers were trained and equipped to raise awareness and support contact tracing. WV supported health facilities; functional triage, community-based isolation and ICUs are put into consideration for referral of mild, moderate, severe and critical positive cases. We are facilitating the procurement of essential pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical supplies in response to this pandemic, and we will continue to attend and participate in health clusters’ monthly meetings.


 Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

  • 500,503 adults reached Syria and Jordan
  • 657,248 children reached in Syria and Jordan

World Vision uses a holistic and gender-sensitive approach in supporting WASH services in both camp and non-camp settings across Syria and Jordan. WV gives access to clean water by supporting 9 water stations and providing clean water trucking to 55,000 IDPs across 8 camps in North-West Syria. WV also constructs, repairs and desludges latrines and undertakes vital maintenance work to water networks.

In Jordan, WV constructed a greywater system in Azraq Refugee Camp, connecting 2,556 homes and providing work opportunities to 81 camp residents. WV also provides the only Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Azraq Refugee Camp through our solar-powered ‘Green Centre’, a sorting facility where recyclable materials are recovered. Around 200 refugees –Incentive-Based Volunteers (IBVs) are involved monthly in the SWM project in waste collection, sorting and removal, as well as in a litter picking and massive behavioural change campaign on waste segregation.

 In Syria, World Vision has responded to COVID-19 by increasing water volumes, suspending group hygiene promotion activities and initialising mass media communications. Safe distance door-to-door hygiene awareness sessions were conducted, and hygiene kits were distributed in all projects’ locations. Staff have been trained in WHO guidelines for working in COVID-19 areas and were provided with necessary protective equipment. We have also distributed soap to 7,932 households in North-West Syria. In Jordan, WV is providing extra rounds of waste collection 7 days a week for up to 40,000 refugees living in Azraq Refugee Camp. 17 tonnes of solid waste are collected on average per day, and 180 IBVs working in Solid Waste Management have received cash-for-work assistance in March 2020.


 Protection, Gender-Based Violence and Child Protection

  • 15,007 adults reached in Syria, Jordan and Turkey
  • 23,745 children reached in Syria, Jordan and Turkey

World Vision’s programmes contribute to the creation of a protective and empowering environment for the most vulnerable girls, boys, women and men, regardless of gender, disability, migratory or social status. Humanitarian protection, tackling Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and improving Child Protection (CP) are at the centre of our response in Syria, not only as stand-alone sector but also through integrating and mainstreaming in other sectors. In Syria, we run 11 Women and Girls Safe Spaces and Child Friendly Spaces as well as emergency protection activities, which include distribution of dignity kits to women and girls, provision of psychological first aid, and referrals of GBV and CP cases to specialised service providers. In Jordan’s Azraq Refugee Camp, our programming includes psychosocial support for children, life skills and peace building for adolescents, in addition to functioning of community-based CP and advocacy groups, and interventions with parents. CP is integrated with the Remedial Education Project, targeting 20 public schools in host communities. In Turkey, implementing partners in Ankara and Istanbul continue to focus on lifesaving protection, GBV support is provided to Syrians under temporary protection and other refugees – this includes individual protection assistance, case management and individual and group physical support.

World Vision has drafted a standard operating procedure for direct and indirect implementation of activities. Special considerations will be made to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups in Syria, including people with disabilities and older adults. The psychosocial support will share simple facts about what is happening and give clear information about how to reduce the risk of infection. In Jordan, the Child Protection in Emergencies Project in Azraq Refugee Camp will be delivering its programmes with integrated COVID-19 risk education and messaging to children, adolescents and caregivers. Using teleconferencing to respond to COVID-19, WV is providing information and protection services in Turkey through various informative videos, awareness messaging via SMS and limited case management services – including referral, legal and psychosocial support.

Aug 10, 2020

Felicita rejoices - water is coming to her village

Felicita showing her future water source at home
Felicita showing her future water source at home

For many years, families living in Pueblo Viejo did not have clean water. Daily, women and other family members traveled long distances to collect water from surface wells. In the winter, families collected rainwater, storing it in nearby water tanks. “The first inhabitants of my community abandoned their houses and moved to live in other places, as a consequence of the scarcity of water and the lack of land suitable for growing basic grains,” said Felicita, 53. “Since our community was founded approximately 250 years ago, to the present day, we have suffered due to lack of access to drinking water.”

In 2018, World Vision and other local partners informed residents of Pueblo Viejo of plans to construct a solar-powered water pumping system. Overjoyed by the news, they took immediate action to elect a water management board and supporting subcommittees. Since then, World Vision has been working with local partners and families in the communities to complete construction of a water system. The new system will pump water from a protected source to a water tank, then distribute it from the tank through a networked piped system to taps in individual households. We have made significant progress and anticipate completion soon. This the first time World Vision is constructing a solar-powered water pumping system in Honduras. “Now, a new stage in our lives begins,” Felicita joyfully proclaims. “... The elders of our community thought, like our ancestors, they were going to leave this world without seeing the water project come true. We thank God, the donors, and all those who collaborated in this great project”.

Community members laying the water pipes
Community members laying the water pipes
Aug 10, 2020

Sahinoor Helps Protect Neighbors from Coronavirus

Sahinoor sewing masks with Shourav (L) & Shanta (R
Sahinoor sewing masks with Shourav (L) & Shanta (R

“Just the week before [the] lockdown started in our area I filled my store with new goods. I brought mostly the kitchen items like [the] electric kettle, fan, iron, gas stove, and rice cooker. I invested all the savings that I earned from my tailoring store,” says Sahinoor, 35, an entrepreneur and a single mother who is raising her two children Shanta, 15, and Shourav, 7. She lives in a slum in Khulna, a city in southern Bangladesh.

Sahinoor’s first husband was a boatman and a porter, who abandoned her when Shanta was five. Seven years ago, Sahinoor married another man, but their marriage lasted less than two years. Her second husband left after Sahinoor delivered Shourav because she became severely sick following childbirth. Left to provide for her two children, Sahinoor worked several years peeling the plastic lining from paper bags used to hold chemicals for the shrimp processing plants.

The chemical in the plastic burned her eyes and skin and made Sahinoor sick. She could not work regularly and was forced to pull Shanta out of school. Shanta accompanied her mother and worked in the factory for one year for their survival. “Shanta was sick when we found her,” says Abeda, a World Vision Child Protection project manager. World Vision offered Shanta the Life-Skills Based Education course, which helped her dream again with confidence. After receiving tailoring training, a sewing machine and fabrics from World Vision’s Child Protection Project, Shanta started her tailoring shop and contributed to the family income. “Soon Shanta taught her mother Sahinoor sew-ing skills, [which] doubled their family income,” continues Abeda. “This stable income helped Shanta and her brother return to school. Also, Sahinoor saved a portion of their daily income, reinvested her savings and increased capital.”

Sahinoor was sewing dresses from home when the government declared a lockdown in their area to prevent a coronavirus outbreak. Through her connection with World Vision, Sahinoor learned about educating her community about the pandemic. She delivered key information about the coronavirus to her customers using the leaflets she received from World Vision. “I encourage them to stay at home unless they have an emergency need and always to wear masks while they go out,” says Sahinoor. “Many customers reported that masks were not available in the local market, so I started making masks with fabric and selling those to my customers at reduced prices. I distributed the masks for free when anyone did not have money to buy it. I told them to wash their hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds and to use a handkerchief or tissue paper while coughing or sneezing. I also encouraged customers to maintain social distancing,” she adds.

“Sahinoor treats her customers with respect, and thus, she became a good entrepreneur very rapidly. Her neighbors also respect her. Community leaders also trust Sahinoor and assign her to liaise with local government offices for cascading the government’s services to families,” says Abeda.

Sahinoor is thankful for World Vision’s training and support. She now earns 300 takas ($3.50) daily, allowing her to take care of her children and provide them with food, clothing and schooling. She also looks for ways to support her community. “I want to help my neighbors, to make their life easy and protected in the middle of this corona-virus outbreak,” says Sahinoor gratefully.

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