Syria and neighbouring countries


Not much is left of the vibrant, cultured Syria after more than a decade of war. Combat operations have decreased, but the conflict continues to this day. War and inflation are destroying the livelihood of many people and drive the population into poverty. The education system barely functions. More than half of the population has fled inside the country or to neighbouring countries.

© Caritas Switzerland

There is great need in the surrounding countries too. Lebanon took in more than 1,5 million Syrian refugees. But economic and political instability exacerbate poverty there, too. Caritas Switzerland has been active in Syria and Lebanon since 2012. Caritas provides humanitarian aid in projects with partner organisations and is actively engaged in sustainably improving people’s living conditions.

Overview in figures

Sources: Human Development Report, UNESCO, UNFPA (as of 2022)

  • Total population: 19,4 million
  • Poverty index (proportion of people affected by poverty): 90%
  • Prosperity indicator (total 191 states): rank 150
  • Gross National Income per capita: USD 4'192
  • Life expectancy at birth: 72 years
  • Child mortality: 2%
  • Literacy rate (age 15 and over): 81%
  • CO2 emissions per capita: 1,7 tons

Caritas projects in the region

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Caritas Switzerland on site

Header image: In addition to emergency relief, Caritas is actively engaged in promoting better education facilities and strengthens the income opportunities of the most vulnerable people. © Alexandra Wey