Fast Facts About The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Get the facts about the Syrian refugee crisis—and better understand one of the greatest humanitarian challenges of our time.


Fact 1

Syria’s civil war, which started in 2011, has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population—an estimated 11 million people—have been killed or forced to flee their homes.
Source: Mercy Corps

Fact 2

The United Nations stopped officially tallying the death toll in Syria in 2014, as the war intensified and became more complex.
Source: The New York Times

Fact 3

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. Refugees are entitled to protection under international law.
Source: UNHCR

Fact 4

Worldwide, there are more refugees than at any time since World War II.
Source: UNHCR

Fact 5

Syrians now comprise one of the largest groups of refugees worldwide, making up approximately 32% of the 16.5 million refugees under the mandate of UNHCR.
Source: UNHCR

Fact 6

About half of all Syrian refugees are children.
Source: UNICEF

Fact 7

About 6 in 10 Syrians are displaced from their homes, a number unprecedented in recent history for a single country.
Source: Pew Research Center

Fact 8

There have been 34 confirmed chemical attacks in Syria, in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Source: UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Republic

Fact 9

The latest chemical attacks in Syria happened on April 7, 2018, in Douma. More than 40 people, including children, were killed.
Source: BBC News

Fact 10

The United States accepted 82 Syrian refugees into the country so far this year.
Source: NPR

Fact 11

Turkey shelters the greatest number of refugees, hosting 3.7 million refugees as of mid-2019. Pakistan, Uganda, and Sudan follow.
Source: UNHCR

Fact 12

To date, thousands of generous donors to GlobalGiving’s Syrian Refugee Relief Fund have supported 70 community-led organizations delivering critical services to Syrian refugees in Syria and neighboring countries.
Source: Syrian Refugee Relief Fund

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Featured Banner Photo: A student at a safe space center in a refugee camp in Jordan, a service of the Provide Relief for Syrian Refugees Project by Mercy Corps.

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