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Eleven years of civil war in Syria

Three men with bread
Bread distribution in a camp

The civil war in Syria has already lasted eleven years, with dramatic consequences for the population: an estimated half a million dead, 90 percent of the population living in poverty, half of the population having fled since 2011, either to neighbouring countries, to Europe or to "safe" areas in their own country. Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have taken in 5 million refugees, and 24 million people in the region are in need of aid. Much of the infrastructure has been destroyed - hospitals, roads, electricity and water supplies and many homes. An estimated 63 percent of the country's territory is once again controlled by Bashar al Assad. In the north or east of the country, areas are in the hands of opposition groups, Turkey and Kurds - how is help possible for the people living there? And how is KfW Development Bank involved?

The "Syria Recovery Trust Fund", managed by KfW, contributes to the basic needs of the population in the Syrian opposition areas - for example, by investing in water and health care, rehabilitating agricultural irrigation systems, but also by providing funding for micro-entrepreneurs and supplying seeds, fertilisers and medicines. Deliveries to the northwest of Syria are made via the - only still open - Bab al-Hawa border crossing near the Turkish border town of Reyhanli. The north-east can only be supplied via northern Iraq.

The mandate funds for the SRTF provided by Germany and the international donor community since 2013 amount to around 310 million euros (April 2022). More than 11 million Syrians (including double counts) have benefited from the projects to the tune of 211 million euros. Partners on the ground are municipalities, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations. The experience of the past eight years shows that the supply situation in the communities has improved, but that new challenges are always being added or exacerbated. As a result of persistent droughts, but also as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine, grain production and imports are limited, which acutely threatens the food security of the population. The SRTF can respond quickly to changing needs thanks to a strong implementation structure, close interaction with local partners, systematic monitoring and reporting at the individual project level, and robust oversight by donors and other stakeholders.

Examples of SRTF engagement

Men working in a bakery
Bakery in North Aleppo

In recent years, the SRTF's areas of intervention have consequently changed to some extent. For example, food supplies are increasingly required: in June 2021, 10,000 tonnes of wheat were delivered - preventing shortages of flour supplies in local bakeries. This has ensured bread supplies for 270,000 beneficiaries in Aleppo Governorate.

About 1000 farmers in six cooperatives in Ar-Raqqa governorate will be supplied with agricultural equipment worth EUR 4.6 million this summer. This is also a contribution to food security and livelihood security.

Two men holding a cow
Vaccination programme in North Aleppo

The SRTF agriculture project "Support for Livestock in North Aleppo" received two portable conveyors in March 2022. These will facilitate the transport and storage of feed bags in warehouses and the loading and unloading of feed from trucks. Another component of the project is veterinary vaccination campaigns, which will directly benefit around 11 500 livestock farmers. In addition, around 2 680 sheep and goat farmers are supplied with supplementary feed.

In addition, KfW Development Bank, like many other donors, is also committed to helping refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey - both in camps and in host communities. There, it primarily finances food, medical aid, water and sanitation, and schooling for children.

Syria Recovery Trust Fund