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We are here in Syria

Disaster after disaster strikes the people of Syria. After more than twelve years of violence, the country is in a serious crisis. Of the country's 22 million inhabitants, 13.6 million people have fled. Poverty is huge. In addition, the country has recently been hit by severe earthquakes. ZOA is here to alleviate suffering and work together with Syrian communities to recover and rebuild.

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A country in crisis 

total population of Syria
of Syria's population lives below the poverty line
6.7 million people are internally displaced
people in need of humanitarian and protection assistance

ZOA's work in syria

Relief and recovery - both desperately needed 

The crisis in Syria, which has now lasted twelve years, has caused the majority of the population to flee. Cities and towns have been destroyed. To make matters worse, violent earthquakes recently hit the already fragile country. Syria is in ruins. ZOA tries to stand beside them and offer the help they desperately need in a situation where nearly everything is broken.

ZOA currently works with crisis affected communities in Quneitra, Rural Damascus, Dara’a, Latakia, Aleppo and Al Hasakeh. Our activities are  targeted at internally displaced persons (IDPs), host communities and returnees. ZOA always seeks to reach the most vulnerable groups, which are often women, children, elderly, female headed households, persons with disabilities and IDPs. We focus on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), food security & livelihoods, shelter/NFI and education.

ZOA has been active in Syria since 2015. Before establishing an office in-country, ZOA worked through local partners to reach people in need. ZOA Syria was registered in Syria in 2019 with an office located in Damascus. Since then we have been reaching out to the most vulnerable people through direct implementation as well as working with international and local partners. ZOA gives priority to three specific themes i.e. conflict sensitivity, gender and protection.

After the violent earthquakes in Syria, ZOA's emergency relief team came into action immediately. In the disaster area, our aid workers help with the most urgent items, such as shelter and warm clothing. Victims are often best helped with cash assistance. This way they can buy what they need most.

The impact of our work in Syria

With a team of around 19 staff members, we serve over 35,729 people in need on a yearly basis. 

Syria Joint Response

ZOA is the lead agency of the Syria Joint Response, a multi-year consortium funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a budget of over 40 million Euro. The consortium of Dutch NGOs has served over 2 million vulnerable people since 2015. During 2019-2020 ZOA led the consortium in an innovating Cash Based Programming in Syria.

Shelter and Non-food items

In Quneitra and Aleppo, we provide life-saving and life sustaining shelter support. We ensure that homes meet minimum standards and provide a higher quality of living conditions and better protection for vulnerable families. Work includes rehabilitation, repair or upgrade of existing shelters. People with disabilities are also targeted with protection specific activities. In Daraá, ZOA provides vulnerable households with core relief items and essential Non-Food Items (NFIs). Our NFI activities also include winterization assistance.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Interventions in Rural Damascus and Quneitra include provision of adequate water (quality and quantity) for drinking and hygiene purposes, distribution of hygiene kits and supporting solid waste management systems. ZOA reaches its WASH objectives both through community support, such as water well rehabilitation and sewage system rehabilitation, as through household support by connecting new water tanks to the main water system.

Food Security & Livelihoods

Our activities in Latakia and Rural Damascus are aimed at providing the means and opportunities for vulnerable individuals to earn a sustainable living and to receive a minimum income, mainly through the provision of agricultural tools, seeds and livestock.


Together with our local partners, we rehabilitate schools and classrooms in Damascus and Aleppo. For students, their parents and their teachers, we provide material and mental support. We aim to increase participation and quality education in schools within stable communities.

Working together

Donors and partners 

We work with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN-OCHA through Syria Humanitarian Fund, BHA and ZOA Netherlands. We work with Syria Trust for Development, Oxfam, Dorcas, TDH Italy, Medair, SSSD, EPDC and GOPA-DERD.

Read recent news about ZOA's work in Syria