About Us

UPDATE 3.2017

Over 400,000 people have lost their lives in five years of civil war in Syria. 4.8 million refugees have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraqi Kurdistan while 6.6 million remain internally displaced within the country. Humanitarian needs are immense, with limited assistance reaching those affected by the civil war. 

Since there are only a few aid agencies with experience operating within Syria who can manage a complex security environment, support to communities affected by the ongoing conflict is extremely limited. Needs continue to exceed the support available. 

ShelterBox has provided tents, ShelterKits and educational equipment, both inside Aleppo, and in displacement camps within Syria and refugee camps in neighboring countries including Iraqi Kurdistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. Distribution has been ongoing, when safety allows. Since 2012, ShelterBox has delivered more than $5 million in humanitarian aid to more than 9,000 families.

ShelterBox has been providing aid via trusted non-profit partners – London based Hand in Hand for Syria and New Zealand based ReliefAidWith the help of these distribution partners, ShelterBox has delivered ShelterKits, containing a variety of essential items including: jerry cans, mattresses, tarps, solar lights, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, and water purification equipment. Winterized kit also includes hats, gloves & scarves for adults and children, as well as kerosene heaters. 

In late 2016, Syrian military forces captured the ancient city of Aleppo. Damage and casualties were catastrophic. Aleppo is Syria’s largest city, its financial and industrial hub. Of enormous historical significance, it is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Now vast areas lie in ruins, and without utilities and infrastructure, much of it is uninhabitable.
When the water pumping station at Al-Khafsah in Aleppo failed, cutting off water supply to the city, panic and chaos ensued, with people resorting to drinking from puddles in the streets. Hospitals and schools were also attacked, with at least nine medical facilities bombed in Aleppo and Idlib during July 2016.

ReliefAid distribution of aid in Syria
ShelterBox and ReliefAid deliver winterized kit to displaced families

ShelterBox and Hand in Hand for Syria provide emergency aid
ShelterBox and Hand in Hand for Syria deliver ShelterKits and other aid items

The Aleppo offices of ReliefAid were destroyed by an early morning airstrike in the first week of August 2016 - luckily no volunteers were injured. Executive Director of ReliefAid Mike Seawright said, “Yesterday alone my team reported 150 air strikes. Their homes are getting hit, their markets are getting attacked. Last week our office was hit in a strike that was targeting the building next door. They hit the building beside us, and the effect of that is that we’ve had to move to a new location in the city. And literally two days later there was a gas attack on that neighborhood. So nowhere is safe.”

Please help by donating to our Syria Refugee Appeal today. 100% of your donation will be used for response efforts to this immense crisis.

Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan
The vast Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

What started out as a peaceful protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the southern Province of Deraa in March 2011 has degenerated into a regional interethnic civil war. The violence, sectarian tensions and economic hardship are forcing more and more Syrian families from their homes and land. 
Years later, this remains the worst humanitarian crisis the world has faced since the end of the cold war.  This disaster displaced more people than the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan, Haiti earthquake, Japanese earthquake and Hurricane Katrina combined.  

From the crisis, there are millions of refugees, most of them being women and children, seeking safety and shelter across neighboring countries. Many are living in flimsy cramped makeshift shelters. The majority of fleeing families arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. Many are injured from continuous bombing and shelling. They have no regular food and no income. Men, women and children are suffering through no fault of their own. 

ShelterBox in Greece
A family shelters in cramped conditions on the island of Lesbos, Greece. 
© Rachel Harvey/ShelterBox 2015

The need for protection is critical as we continue to provide shelter and supplies - we urgently need your help today.

ShelterBox's Ongoing Response:

ShelterBox in Syria 2017
FLICKR Images from response in Syria

ShelterBox and ReliefAid deliver emergency aid in Syria 2016
FLICKR Images from response in Syria

Greece Humanitarian Response 2015
FLICKR Images from response in Greece


Syria, Conflict 2014-09
FLICKR Images from response in Syria

Iraqi Kurdistan, Conflict 2013-08
FLICKR Images from response in Iraq Kurdistan


Syria, Conflict 2012-12
FLICKR Images from response in Syria


100% of your donation will be used for response efforts to this crisis.

Check out other ways to get involved


• The Christian Science Monitor lists ShelterBox as one of four organizations tackling the Syrian refugee crisis.

• Charity Navigator lists 9 organizations, like ShelterBox, that are providing aid to Syrian refugees.

• Rueters included ShelterBox in their list of 12 humanitarian organizations responding to Syrian Crisis

• Public Radio International (PRI) offers 6 organizations that provide support to the #SyrianRefugees. ShelterBox is one of the organizations listed.

• CNN news feature on ShelterBox’s work in Syria 

The West Briton newspaper shows some grateful Syrian school children

Audio interview with response team member, Dave Ray talking to Heart FM about Syrian refugees.

The Western Morning News writes about our push into Syria itself



Sept 14, 2016 - ShelterBox’s partner charity welcomes ceasefire for Syrian families living in ‘hell on earth’

Aug 18, 2016 - ‘We are waiting to die.’ Aleppo aid workers heartfelt plea to the international community ahead of World Humanitarian Day

Mar 12, 2014 - Phil Duloy: It might have been big news, but it wasn't

Mar 6, 2014 - Toby Ash:
 Humanitarian need in Syria greater than ever

Oct 18, 2013 - John Jones: 
Resilience in Zaatari refugee camp

Oct 14, 2013 - Torstein Nielsen: The People

Oct 3, 2013 - Sam Hewett: Responding to complex emergencies

Sept 30, 2013 - Hunter Tanous: The Syria I knew and loved

Sept 24, 2013 - Rebecca Novell: Crossing the Syria border

How did this civil war happen? Read the BBC’s story of the conflict