IDPs Syria - girl with bread
©arche noVa

Syria: Bread, water, housing and more emergency aid for people between the fronts


one-time    regular
The Syrian civil war has been going on for more than nine years. Those affected live in constant danger and under most adverse circumstances. The figures show how dramatic the situation is: hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are victims of armed conflicts, millions of families had to leave their homes. arche noVa provides emergency aid in the north of the country.
Simple World Map - Author: Al MacDonald Editor: Fritz Lekschas License: CC BY-SA 3.0 ID: ISO 3166-1 or "_[a-zA-Z]" if an ISO code is not available

arche noVa started the project in Syria in 2012, when the conflicts’ intensity increased and more and more people lost their homes. Especially families in northern Syria and close to the Turkish border live in socially complicated situations. Our work focuses on supporting internally displaced people and in particular households led by women.

Providing basic support

There is an acute lack of primary necessities in large parts of Syria. The economy has collapsed. Industrial companies ceased their production. It is very difficult for transports to enter the country, especially the northern part. The people lack everything. Food is hard to get and the prices have been rising tremendously. Yet most people have hardly any money reserves and keep their heads above water only with informal jobs.

Around 6.7 million Syrians are refugees in their own country. The public infrastructure in the host communities is completely overloaded. The situation is particularly precarious in the unofficial settlements or tent cities where most of the refugees live. There is often a complete lack of infrastructure.

As an expert in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene, arche noVa ensures emergency supplies in particularly precarious places. Our local team supplies drinking water for several thousand people daily by tanker truck. Currently, 1,700 trips are made per month. Furthermore, arche noVa organises sewage and waste disposal in the receiving settlements and temporary accommodation, builds toilets and erects water tanks to store the water supply.

How we adjust our work to the Corona crisis

  • The arche noVa team takes (self-)protection measures while implementing the tasks (masks, distance, hygiene rules, etc.).
  • Launch of an awareness campaign and distribution of extra soap.
  • Increase in the amount of distributed water from 25 litres per person and day to 35 litres per person and day.
  • Setup of more distribution points for food and other aid packages. This reduces the rush and the distance rules can be better observed.

The focus of arche noVa's activities is on the distribution of food to the internally displaced and the citizens of the receiving municipalities. The monthly packages with basic food provided by arche noVa became a life-saving emergency service for many families. More than 345,000 aid packages have already been distributed since 2013. Currently, we distribute about 1.900 packages every month. Our local staff takes care to include as much diverse, regional and substantial food as possible.

With regard to the extremely difficult supply situation, arche noVa has also been distributing bread since the beginning of the project. Bread is a very important traditional component of nutrition in Syria. We regularly provide several thousand people. Usually, each family receives one kilogram of bread per day, which is baked in local bakeries and daily distributed by the arche noVa team.

The local team on the ground must constantly adapt the relief activities to the changing circumstances and the difficult security situation. This applies both to the risk of fighting and displacement and to the newly added threat of the Corona pandemic.

Hygiene kits for preventive health care

Summarised in so-called kits, arche noVa distributes hygiene articles that are particularly urgently needed because many people live under difficult conditions and have hardly any access to medical care. Several hundred hygiene kits are distributed to the needy every month. These activities were further increased in the course of the Corona emergency aid.

During the cold season arche noVa has been able to carry out additional distributions. Several thousand refugees received winter kits - including fleece jackets, caps and scarves.

Shelter improvement

Many Internally Displaced Persons have long since been unable to find accommodation in northern Syria. Happy are those who can at least find shelter in a tent. To ease the tense situation arche noVa participates in the extension of living space. Ruined or neglected buildings are being repaired. In this context arche noVa agrees with the house owners that in return for the extension measures fled families can live there for one year free of charge. The building materials and executing companies come from the region, i.e. as a side effect the local economy is strengthened. arche noVa checks the quality and economic efficiency of the measures carried out.

Funding from the German Federal Foreign Office secures the basis for this project.

However, the local needs go far beyond this. The situation is particularly dramatic in the embattled Idlib. Our local team is on site and would like to do even more.

We urgently ask for donations for our humanitarian aid.

Donate for this project

a food package containing basic food for a family for one month.
a 1,000 litre tank that stores water for 15 people in an informal camp.
to build a toilet for 20 people living in tents or shelters.

Project Overview


Securing the basic living conditions of people affected by the civil war

Target Group

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and hosting communities

  • Drinking water supply by water trucking at unofficial settlements/ emergency shelters (1,700 truck trips per month)
  • Sewage and waste disposal in unofficial settlements/ emergency shelters (240 truck trips for sewage disposal per month)
  • Construction of toilets (about 30 monthly)
  • Distribution of water tanks (e.g. 865 tanks in June 2021)
  • Distribution of food packages (1,900 packages per month
  • Distribution of bread parcels (4,000 1-kilo packages daily
  • Distribution of hygiene kits (400 monthly)
  • Distribution of winter clothing, blankets etc. in the cold season
  • Repair of houses - creation of usable housing (housing for about 400 families so far)

Status: June 2021

Since 2012, current project till December 2021
  • Auswärtiges Amt (German Federal Foreign Office)
  • Aktion Deutschland Hilft (Germany's Relief Coalition)