Skip to main content
European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

EU assists displaced Syrians during winter

As the Syrian crisis enters its 12th year, millions of displaced Syrians endure another brutal winter. The majority of displaced are women and children, and, regrettably, many still live in tents and makeshift camps in northern Syria.

Biting cold, lack of water, food and electricity are the daily ordeal of those affected by storms, snowfall and sub-zero temperatures.

With its humanitarian partners, the EU has helped families prepare better for winter and has provided emergency assistance, including shelter, blankets and stoves following the first bout of severe weather. Multipurpose cash was also given for people to buy food, clothes and medicines.

Story by Anouk Delafortrie, Regional Information Officer for Middle East and Northern Africa, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.

Mother and child in front of a tent covered by snow
Northwest Syria is home to 4.4 million people and hosts the highest number of internally displaced in camps in the country. Many of the 750,000 people who live in tents need humanitarian assistance to cope with the harsh winter weather.
People shoveling snow away from their tent
As a result of the storm and snowfall in early 2022, 10,500 tents were damaged or destroyed, affecting almost 60,000 people. Blocked roads and difficulty to deliver aid and reach services created unbearable conditions.
Flattening a stronger solid surface to build better settlements
The EU allocated over €9 million for ‘winterisation’ assistance. This money was partly used to upgrade the settlements for displaced people, better insulated tents and protect them against flooding.
2 children looking outside from a tent
Over 300,000 Syrians are benefiting from EU assistance such as tent insulation, heating, blankets, shelter and winter kits. Most of the aid was given at the onset of winter but some partners used emergency funds to respond to the flooding and snowstorm.
Handing over paper money on a table
The EU allocated funds to provide displaced and vulnerable families with cash assistance to prepare for winter.
Woman with child sitting on the ground, in front of a stove
“This winter our situation changed when they gave us cash assistance before the cold wave began,” says Um Hamid. “We bought wood for heating as warmth is the most important thing in winter and with firewood everything is easier.”
People in front of a stove
“I received 150$. I refilled the cooking stove and bought winter clothes for my grandchildren. I paid back some debts. I will buy some wood for heating. I also bought a small battery for LED lighting as we have no other source of light,” says Mohamed.
Photo of elderly woman
“We’re not used to living in a cold tent, our home before the war was warm all the time,” says 75-year-old Souad.
Inside view of tent with Souad and her children
With the cash assistance she receives, Souad can cover some of the family’s basic needs and buy her medicines.
People cueing in front of a mobile clinic van
The EU supports health facilities and mobile teams in snow-hit areas. The mobile clinics ensure the continuity of health services, especially for pregnant women, children and chronically ill patients, and refer urgent cases.
© Health Cluster

Publication date: 16/03/2022