Syrian Refugee Crisis: How it Started and What’s Happening Now?

After more than a decade, the Syrian refugee crisis remains the world’s largest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Since the crisis began, millions of Syrians have been forced to flee their country, while many more remain internally displaced. While the world has become accustomed to seeing news reports about Syrian refugees for so long, some people are still not sure what started the Syrian refugee crisis. Let’s look back and see how it all started and how the crisis has endured until today.

What is the Crisis in Syria, and How did it Start?

The Syrian refugee crisis began as the result of a March 2011 violent government crackdown on public demonstrations in support of a group of school children arrested for anti-government graffiti in the southern town of Daraa. By July of 2011, army defectors had loosely organized the Free Syrian Army, and many civilian Syrians took up arms to join the opposition. The conflict quickly escalated, and the country descended into an armed conflict that then forced millions of Syrian families out of their homes.  The conflict quickly escalated, and the country descended into a civil war that then forced millions of Syrian families out of their homes.

How Long Has the Crisis Been Going On?

The crisis is now entering its second decade, and the number of Syrian refugees has hardly declined. The past ten years represent as deadly and devastating a decade as any one country has experienced in recent memory. In all those years, thousands of lives have been lost while millions of families have been displaced to new locations as many as nine times or more. The trauma itself caused by the conflict and multiple displacements is immeasurable and has resulted in devastating effects on the people.

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How Many Syrian Refugees Have Left Syria?

Ever since the crisis began, there’s a total of 13.3 million people displaced from their homes and have been scattered all around the neighboring countries and the rest of the world. 6.7 million of those Syrians are still internally displaced. According to the UN, $3.8 billion is needed just to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Syrians, and that number will continue to rise as the conflict continues. 

What’s Going on in Syria Right Now?

In Northwest Syria, one of the most fragile regions of the country, basic necessities have become particularly sparse. Many have risen to help them, but the delivery of critical aid across borders has become increasingly challenging. 

Torrential rains, strong winds, and floods have lashed the country’s northwest region, destroying tents and food supplies, leaving thousands of Syrian refugees homeless. All these brutal winter conditions paired with the rising cases of COVID-19 threaten the survival of even more people who have already lost so much in the past years.


The Syrian refugee crisis has affected millions of people for over a decade and continues to do so until now. While it seems that the war is drawing inexorably to a conclusion, there is still no sign of when the suffering of the refugees will end. There is still the question of where will those refugees go now that the war might finally be over.

UOSSM USA is a medical humanitarian organization providing medical relief, emergency lifesaving aid, and quality healthcare to those affected by devastating events, such as the Syrian refugee crisis. With what’s going on with Syria right now, people need everyone’s help just to survive and have a decent life. If you want to be part of our efforts to help refugees, you can do so by supporting our work through your donations. Make a difference and donate today!

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