Northeast Syria Response

Published 1st November 2019

Over 180,000 people have had to flee their homes in northeast Syria following a military intervention launched by Turkey. Their could be up to 80,000 children.

While the need for humanitarian aid has increased dramatically, military operations have forced many humanitarian organisations to evacuate their expatriate personnel and suspend or reduce their provision of services.

We have been in the area for two years and are currently supporting the displaced population receive the healthcare support they so desperately need.

Despite the difficult circumstances, our teams are currently supporting seven health facilities. These centres are providing an increased number of consultations as a result of the growing numbers of displaced people. We are evaluating the possibility of supporting an additional four facilities.

The teams continue to facilitate the training of health and management staff in the area and offer clinical advice in case treatment. We are also continuing to provide mental health training to primary care staff.

“The people of this region have been subjected to extreme levels of physical and mental stress for years,” Sonja Mardešić, coordinator of our Complex Crisis unit.
“We are very concerned about the critical situation in which they find themselves and the vulnerability of their right to health, especially in such a volatile context where secure access to humanitarian aid is not guaranteed,” explains Mardešić.


At the moment, we are supplying medicines to seven health centres. These are mainly to treat respiratory diseases – especially important as winter approaches – and chronic pathologies, such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, we are also providing medical equipment, such as gauze, sutures, and disinfectant.

We’re currently considering whether we are able to offer healthcare treatment outside of these centres, to reach the informal camps where the population displaced by the advance of troops is moving to. Our teams are supporting the Syrian population in the area affected by the military offensive, though the humanitarian situation is extemely challenging. Local organizations that continue to provide assistance face increasingly difficult circumstances and security risks.

We’re reinforcing the work that we were already doing in primary care, supporting health centers with medicines and health personnel, and remaining alert to growing needs . The crisis in Syria is far from over, and we need your help to help those most affected and for our doctors and staff to deliver healthcare.


With your support, Doctors of the World will make sure nobody suffers or dies due to lack of access to healthcare.