Syria: daily life a struggle to survive Syria: daily life a struggle to survive Donor pledges must prioritise urgent humanitarian plight of displaced Syrians International: Pax Christi International Peace Award 2014 given to JRS Syria Jordan/ USA: JRS Jordan director visits US universities to raise awareness about refugees in the Middle East Jordan: an arduous and perilous journey to safety Jordan: caught between memories of the past and the reality of today Jordan: dreaming of an open Syria Jordan: empowering women Jordan: refugees helping refugees Jordan: space to be together JRS Middle East Director visits US JRS Middle East Director visits US Lebanon: acting on Pope Francis’ call for inter-religious dialogue and cooperation Lebanon: keeping a special spirit alive Lebanon: language barriers prevent Syrian children from attending school Lebanon: space to learn Lebanon: Syrian families flee in order to protect their children Prayer for Syria: blessed are the peacemakers Syria: a volunteer's experience with displaced families in Damascus Syria: amidst upheaval, the scope of services expands Syria: amidst upheaval, the scope of services expands Syria: bread and fuel shortages in Aleppo add to daily woes Syria: bringing displaced families together Syria: civilians organise a cleaning campaign in Aleppo Syria: displaced Syrians struggle to find shelter Syria: encouraging internally displaced persons to be involved in emergency assistance Syria: enduring spirit remains despite the rubble Syria: examining the role of women from a humanitarian perspective in response to conflict Syria: holding onto normality in Aleppo Syria: humanitarian situation in the region deteriorating rapidly Syria: in conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians alike Syria: in Damascus assistance continues in face of escalating violence Syria: Iraqi refugees on the sidelines of yet another conflict Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last Syria: local networks of solidarity and JRS helping displaced families Syria: resilience and hope Syria: thousands displaced after upsurge in violence in Sheikh Maqsoud Syria: turning pain into their most powerful weapon Syria: update of JRS emergency support Syria: update on JRS emergency assistance Syria: urgent need for winter supplies Syria: volunteers are essential to the work of JRS Syria: water, the simplest gift of all Syria: witnessing the hope and resilience of Syrians Syria: work of Jesuit community recognised by German human rights foundation Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness USA: the Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria Video: Lebanon, space to learn World Refugee Day statement: finding safe spaces together

Children collect supplies for their families at one of the school-shelters in Aleppo (Avo Kaprealian and Sedki Al Imam/JRS)
Beirut, 11 December 2012 – As winter rains set in over the region and temperatures dropped, the JRS team in Syria delivered the worrying news that there is a shortage of winter supplies.

"We buy what we need and when we can. It's difficult to find all the supplies that we need, and it's never enough compared to the demand", explained the JRS Assistant Director in Damascus.

For now, JRS has managed to provide mattresses and blankets for the 3,000 people in Damascus. However, this number increases monthly as more displaced families seek refuge in the capital city.

Inaccessibility of supplies. In the wake of recent escalated violence in Damascus, with bombings and fierce gunfights breaking out in areas of the capital city, it has become increasingly difficult to ensure the procurement and safe delivery of emergency supplies for displaced people.

Last month, the bombing of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) warehouses in Aleppo, where food baskets and other non-food items were stored, placed a further strain on emergency efforts in Aleppo and surrounding areas. SARC relies on a network of NGOs, like JRS, other local organisations, and volunteers on the ground, to help them deliver the aid to families in need.

"We have 1,250 food baskets in stock, this will last us one more week. After that, if SARC is unable to replenish its supplies then we will have to source the supplies for the food baskets ourselves" said Tariq, a JRS volunteer in Aleppo.

Expanding services. In Mashta Il-Hulou, an area near Homs, there is a preponderance of displaced families from surrounding villages. JRS now provides assistance to 500 families in this region in the form of blankets, heaters and food which complements the SARC food baskets that are distributed by volunteers in coordination with JRS.

Further plans are underway to purchase and distribute enough winter shoes and clothes in all areas where JRS works, as well as to provide other essential items.

"We are supporting local markets as much as we can by buying from local stores. Most manufacturing industries have been destroyed so we cannot produce anything ourselves. But we have managed to buy enough school bags for the children we're responsible for in our school-shelters", explained Abu Ahmed from JRS Aleppo.

How can you help?

Below is a list of items that people in Syria urgently need in order to survive the winter. With your financial help, we can alleviate the suffering of Syrians.
  • 50 euro: a food-basket for a five-person family for one month
  • 80 euro: a basic personal kit: one mattress, two sheets, one pillow, two winter-blankets and two towels
  • 120 euro: winter clothing for one family (pullover, jacket, trousers, shoes)
  • 160 euro: one month's rent of an apartment for a displaced family
  • 4,000 euro: cost of providing cooked meals for 10,000 people for one day
  • 8,000 euro: the installation cost of a second field kitchen
To help support the JRS emergency project, visit