Syria and neighbouring countries

Regional programme

What we do

Since 2011, Syria has gradually descended into civil war and displaced a considerable part of its population internally and to neighboring countries. With the vast majority of Syrian refugees staying in the region, neighbouring countries carry a large part of the burden. In line with the Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan (3RP), Caritas Switzerland focuses on the nexus of humanitarian and longerterm development support in a protracted crisis.

Caritas Switzerland’s emergency relief engagement started in April 2012. Since then, Caritas Switzerland has gradually expanded its activities towards a variety of projects within Syria and its neighbouring countries. In the strategy phase 2021-2025, Caritas Switzerland focuses on distribution of cash assistance and the provision of access to basic services. In particular, Caritas Switzerland addresses the multiple educational needs of out-of-school children, through inclusion and retention initiatives, teacher training, and strengthening of education systems.

Caritas Switzerland's strategy in response to the Syria Crisis further aims at building sustainable livelihoods. In view of gaining independence from direct aid delivery, refugees and vulnerable members of the host community receive skills training or the opportunity to participate in income generating activities.

Caritas Switzerland chose the two outcome areas Income and Migration of its global strategy. Within these outcome areas, the Syria Crisis Response programme combines interventions in the area of emergency relief, including education and child protection, as well as livelihood interventions to ensure that internally displaced persons, refugees and host communities can access the means to survive, build resilience and continue a self-determined life. 

News and storiesfrom Syria and neighbouring countries

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Caritas enables youth, minorities, smallholders and other vulnerable people to increase their income thanks to improved skills and a more inclusive agricultural market system.

  • Smallholders, and other value chain actors, have gained access to information, tools and services needed to improve the production and processing of sustainable products and nutritious food as well as marketrelated services and business contacts to enter higher added-value markets.
  • Youth, minorities, and other vulnerable people, have gained access to high quality non-formal and formal vocational skills development.


By covering basic needs and access to education and job opportunities refugees and migrants are better protected and contribute increasingly to their self-sufficiency and development in the countries of origin, transit and destination.

  • Protection of migrants and refugees is enhanced and their basic needs are covered through access to cash, goods and services.


  • Engagement since: 2012
  • We act in cooperation with: Ana Aqra Association, Americares, Caritas Lebanon, Caritas Syria, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)*, Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, Kinderhilfe Bethlehem, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Leopold Bachmann Foundation, Medicor Foundation, Swisscontact, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Trickle Up, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), Union of Agricultural Workers

*This is funded/co-funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Caritas Switzerland and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Selected projects

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Martin Hiltbrunner

Programme Director

Head OfficeLucerne, Switzerland

+41 41 419 22

Wael Darwish

Country Director

Country OfficeDamascus, Syria