Project Title: Food assistance for vulnerable IDP and host community in Syria

Implemented by: Islamic Relief Syria

Regions: Aleppo and Idleb Governorate of Syria.

Objectives: Provision of immediate life-saving assistance and support to internally displaced families

Period: December 2016 to May 2017


The Syrian crisis has entered its seventh year, with no immediate solution in sight. Civilians continue to suffer from violence, displacement and destruction with 13.5 million people now in desperate need of humanitarian support. There are 4.6 million people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, with limited flexibility to move and restricted access to food, water and healthcare.

More than half of the Syrian population have fled their homes, with a high proportion of children among those displaced. Nearly 5 million Syrians (4,898,353  and rising) have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Moreover, the crisis is worsening due to the restrictions imposed by neighbouring states on those fleeing Syria, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people trapped in dreadful conditions in border areas.


This project initially aimed at the provision of food assistance in Aleppo Governorate. However, due to the besiegement of Aleppo city and increased security risk, many areas in the Aleppo Governorate were inaccessible. 

In December 2016, after the Aleppo city besiegement was over, a large number of evacuees arrived in rural and western parts of Aleppo and Idlib Governorate.

The programme specifically targeted children and women who are generally the most vulnerable in conflict or displaced situations.

A total of 139,232 persons were provided with daily baked bread.

In addition, 4,773 children were provided with Baby milk through the targeted health centres under the supervision of medical professionals.

More than 19,000 households (129,686 individuals) benefitted through the provision of bread daily. 6,267 households were in Idlib Governorate and 12,837  households in Aleppo Governorate benefitted.

The following vulnerability criteria were used for the beneficiary selection:

•    Female-headed Household,

•    Elderly/ People with disability,

•    Households with no regular income sources and living below poverty line,

•    Households with limited or no access to assistance

•    Households with Pregnant/ lactating women

For distribution of baby milk, the main criteria were children who are an infant and required nutritional support.

Islamic Relief standard procurement procedures were followed to procure the project deliverables. The quality and price of the items procured were ensured through a tender process whereby the vendors who provided the best price and good quality items were selected.


Islamic Relief Syria team worked around targeted locations in close consultation with local authorities, partners, and beneficiaries. All targeted areas were mapped and other aid agencies operating in the areas were listed down to avoid any duplication. 

In addition, Islamic Relief is a regular member of UN-led working groups and clusters.

Islamic Relief selected 8 functional bakeries at the operational area (5 in Aleppo and 3 in Idlib). The bakery produced the daily fresh bread which was distributed to the targeted families by IR staff. The whole process- from making the bread to distribution- was closely monitored by IR M&E team.


The short-term nature of most projects does not help Syrian refugees to be self-sufficient, which is especially difficult for those living in host communities where there are already very limited resources available. Consequently, sustainable projects are greatly needed to alleviate their suffering on a longer-term basis.

Funding for projects is very limited when compared to the number of people who need assistance, which means that aid workers have to make tough choices about who can and cannot be helped. It is impossible to help all Syrians in need with the resources currently available.

Security remains a major challenge faced during the project implementation. As the Syria conflict is ongoing. Many distribution areas were frequently targeted which caused a security risk both for the team and beneficiaries. IR  Syria was able to overcome these challenges by closing and monitoring the situation and updating the security management plan.


This project has strengthened the relationships between Islamic Relief, UN, and local aid agencies, leading to enhanced cooperation and support for Islamic Relief’s humanitarian programs and advocacy initiatives in the entire Middle East region.

In line with the vision of Islamic Relief’s regional strategy, we have put in place initiatives to respond effectively and efficiently to the Syrian crisis, since 2011, by providing health care services, food security, education, non-food items (NFIs), and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

We thank all donors who contributed towards this emergency relief effort.


“I am worried about our needs and our future. I don’t have enough money to get food and good clothes so I was very pleased when Islamic Relief responded to our needs and supported us in these difficult conditions.” — Om Mohamed from Rural Hama

“We were in the playground when we heard the explosive barrel falling down,” says nine-year-old Ahmed Omar, from Aleppo. “The strike threw me on the ground and I had an injury in my thigh”. Ahmed was taken to Al Sakhour Hospital – which is supported by Islamic Relief – and underwent surgery that lasted for five hours. His bones were broken and some flesh was removed.

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