Islamic Relief has reached hundreds of thousands of Syrian families seeking safety in Jordan.

Essential items such as gas heaters, food, and shelter are providing a lifeline for vulnerable families – some of whom face the winter with just tents for protection.

This winter, at least 11.6 million Syrians are thought to require humanitarian assistance. With no end to the brutal three-year conflict yet in sight, this stark figure continues to grow. The United Nations now estimates that 9.3 million people inside the war-torn country are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Over 2.3 million Syrians are seeking safety in neighboring countries.

The worst winter storm in two decades

Recently, the Middle East region experienced the worst winter storm in 20 years. Snowstorm Alexa struck Jordan on 11 December, bringing snowfall to higher areas and rain elsewhere – accompanied by heavy winds. Most parts of the region experienced sub-zero temperatures as snow forced government offices to close, triggered power disruption, and blocked roads for around five days. Rain and snow swamped the shelters of many Syrian families living in basements, garages and barns in Irbid, Amman and Mafraq. Many are at risk, and face immense additional hardship. News agencies report the deaths of 20 refugees – 12 of them children, due to the freezing conditions.

Vital winter aid distributed

Islamic Relief has already reached hundreds of thousands during the snowstorm, and in its immediate aftermath. Islamic Relief Jordan identified hundreds of refugees living in tents at an informal settlement in Mafarq – with vulnerable children and elderly people especially at risk from the icy conditions.

So far, we have distributed 1,073 gas heaters and cylinders in Irbid and Mafraq, where we will shortly be also providing blankets, clothing, carpets and mattresses. Our teams in Irbid, Mafraq, Ramtha and Jarash have continued providing Syrian families with food vouchers – around 199,696 people have benefited since 12 December. We have also distributed 3,100 cans of meat – beneficiaries include 450 orphaned children that live in Baqa’a refugee camp and who are sponsored through Islamic Relief. Our shelter programme, which is supporting vulnerable families to access adequate housing for at least four months, has now reached 279 families. In addition, the Islamic Relief health and medical team has seen at least 51 patients receive vital treatment – including surgery, orthopedic procedures, and assistance with childbirth.

Please help us to reach even more vulnerable Syrians during this harsh winter: donate to our Syria Appeal today.