Cash assistance for vulnerable families affected by the multiple crises in Syria
Syria has been affected by multiple crises for years: The twelve-year-long Syrian conflict, the Covid-19 pandemic, a historic economic and food-security crisis and, in February 2023, the aftermath of the massive earthquake. These multiple crises fuel each other and have a dramatic impact on the Syrian population: 15.3 million people are now dependent on humanitarian aid. The Caritas project CARMA (Cash Assistance in Re-Emerging Markets in Syria) supports those particularly affected by these long-standing crises.
CARMA is funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).
The reality is that after twelve years of crisis, people in Syria are gradually losing hope that their lives can return to normal.
After the conflicts came poverty and hunger
In addition to the consequences and effects of the Syrian conflict, the population has also been struggling with an economic crisis of historic proportions since 2019. Since then, the Syrian lira (SYP) has continuously and dramatically lost value - with severe effects on the population. Between 2019-2022, the general price index increased 6-fold, food prices even 7-fold. As a result, even basic foodstuffs are barely affordable.
Meanwhile, more than 12 million Syrians are affected by food insecurity - 1 million children suffer from malnutrition. ¾ of the children do not receive enough food to be able to develop healthily. In order to be able to provide for their own families, people are increasingly taking high risks in order to be able to cover their basic needs.
Visiting a supported family
Photos: © Hasan Belal / Caritas Switzerland
How Caritas helps
The CARMA project (Cash Assistance in Re-Emerging Markets in Syria) provides cash-based assistance to particularly vulnerable families who have lost their livelihoods due to long-lasting crises. Launched in 2019 together with Caritas Switzerland, the EU-funded project now supports nearly 6,000 families in rural Damascus, Homs and Aleppo to meet their basic needs. For nearly 30,000 people, these cash grants provide flexibility, choice, dignity and self-determination, as they are best placed to assess and prioritize their own needs. It also automatically supports local markets. In addition, this form of assistance also reduces negative coping strategies for affected people, such as having to go into debt to pay for food or medicine, or even having to take their children out of school.
9 of 10
people in Syria
live below the poverty line
are affected by food insecurity
receive support through CARMA
Support for local markets
Photos: © Hasan Belal/Caritas Switzerland
Reliable partners in times of crisis
The CARMA project is funded by EU ECHO (Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid of the European Commission) as well as by financial support from the consortium partners Caritas Switzerland, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe and CordAid - they also accompany the project with technical support. The project is implemented directly in Syria by our partners Caritas Syria and GOPA-DERD.