This week marks the eighth anniversary of the devastating war in Syria that has left over 13 million people in need of humanitarian aid. Islamic Relief has been on the ground throughout the crisis, delivering $379 million of aid, while the needs of the population continue to escalate.
With six million Syrians displaced from their homes, many have now been living in dire conditions for years, facing daily threats to their lives, dignity and wellbeing. There are ongoing food and water shortages and inadequate access to sanitation and medical care continues to put the health of the population at risk.
Over the past eight years, Islamic Relief has been working with war-affected people in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, meeting their urgent needs and helping them adjust to what has tragically become the long-term reality of living with war.
We have provided three million families with emergency food and one million with access to healthcare. We have helped half a million people survive through harsh winters and educated 20,000 children who would have missed out on school.
One the children who received Islamic Relief’s support is Shahd, a girl who was forced to flee her home in Damascus when violence escalated eight years ago.
Life on the move
“My mother ran away with us in the middle of the night, moving from city to city, from village to village, looking for safety after my father died during the crisis. We spent nine months living in a state of turmoil and instability.”
We spent several days there until we were offered a tent. It was very difficult, and I could not sleep that night. I had a lot of hopes and pains, fears and mixed feelings wandering in my mind.
“Over the course of several months, the sense of responsibility began to grow,” says Shahd. “When my mother found an opportunity to earn an income, she made some money to provide us with the basics of life.