Member Stories

Syria Relief & Refugee Response

Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan - UNHCR, Creative Commons License

Updated January 2016 to reflect new resources & information

Deadline for eligible donations extended until February 29, 2016

Until February 29, 2016, all eligible donations to Canadian charitable organizations in response to the Syria crisis will be matched, dollar for dollar, to a maximum of $100 million, through the The Government of Canada's Syria Emergency Relief Fund*

Many SCIC members have been on the ground in Syria and neighbouring countries since the conflict escalated in 2012, working with local partners on the immediate and long-term needs of the millions of people affected by the ongoing conflict in the region.


Donate to SCIC Members responding to the crisis in Syria and in neighbouring countries.


Visit for links to local settlement agencies in your area for information, volunteer opportunities, and more.

The Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies (SAISIA) is the umbrella organization of immigrant and refugee serving agencies across Saskatchewan. SAISIA in partnership with its members, private sponsorship agreement holders and United Way Regina and United Way Saskatoon and Area initiated the Saskatchewan Cares campaign to:

  • Educate and mobilize the people of Saskatchewan
  • Provide a central coordinating point for the various efforts across Saskatchewan
  • Direct Saskatchewan people to local organizations they could support through cash or clothing, food, household items or volunteering their time to support refugees as they continue to make Saskatchewan their home, and perhaps in greater numbers


A number of groups are responding to the needs of people affected by this ongoing conflict in a number of ways. Some good places to stay connected are the Saskatchewan Immigration Justice Network and the Saskatoon Refugee Coalition. There are also a number of local Facebook groups that have emerged to help connect people in specific communities: I Will Help (Regina); I Will Help (Saskatoon); I Will Help (Moose Jaw); I Will Help (Prince Albert)

What else can I do?


Since 2011, Al-Jazeera estimates 10.9 million Syrians, or almost half the population, have been displaced by the ongoing conflict. 3.8 million people have been made refugees, and more than 7 million people have been internally displaced. The majority of refugees are seeking safety in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. More than 50% of Syrian refugees are children, who are increasingly at risk of becoming a "lost generation" without access to education. Learn more...


As a sponsor, you or your group provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food. Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible for assistance from their sponsors for up to three years. Learn more about sponsorship through the Government of Canada website.


Learn about the many issues facing Refugees once they arrive in Canada, such as healthcare and family reunification, and work to bring awareness and increased support. Learn more through the Canadian Council for Refugees.



SCIC Members Responding to the Crisis in Syria

Consider donating directly to our members and their partners who are working to support affected communities, listed below. You can also donate to the Saskatchewan Emergency Assistance Program, which is distributed by SCIC to our member organizations on an application basis. Select “Saskatchewan Emergency Assistance Program” from the drop down menu to specify funds, and enter "Syria" in the message field.


ADRA has been providing food, water, shelter, baby supplies, access to education, and other assistance.


CLWR, through The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), is providing support to Syrian refugees living in urban areas in northern Jordan and in the Za'atari refugee camp.


Development and Peace is working with local partner organizations in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable affected by this crisis.


Humanity First is working on the ground for a long term assistance program covering relief supplies and medical assistance in the region. We appeal for your support to ensure that we can respond effectively. The vast majority of our team are volunteers so your contribution will go a long way for the women and children in this disaster.


MCC has 27 ongoing projects delivering emergency relief. Through our partners we are providing food and rent assistance as well as essential items such as relief and hygiene kits, clothing and kitchen supplies. MCC is also supporting peacebuilding work, education for displaced children, trauma healing and will provide supplies to keep people warm in the coming winter.


Oxfam has reached over 1.5 million people affected by the Syria crisis, across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Oxfam’s operations inside Syria focus on the provision of clean water to conflict affected populations through the rehabilitation of water infrastructure, water trucking and repairing of wells.

Oxfam Canada is a member of the Humanitarian Coalition.


Since the outset of the crisis, Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D) has been responding through our partners at the ACT Alliance and Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Together, we are providing basic food items, hygiene kits, shelter, clothing and essential non-food items, as well as psychosocial, medical and educational support for children and youth living in refugee camps.


Since 2012, PWRDF has been providing food, water, shelter, health care, counseling, sanitation, and more relief to thousands of Syrians displaced within their own country, as well as those who have fled as refugees to Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. PWRDF has worked with the ACT Alliance and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to provide this aid.


Regina Open Door Society (RODS) is working towards the safe arrival of the Syrian Refugees and is looking to put services in place to facilitate their successful integration into our community. RODS is seeking donations, volunteers, and other forms of support to respond to the heightened needs.


Save the Children is distributing toolboxes to families for basic repairs and insulation for their shelters, and vouchers for non-food items such as children’s winter clothing, blankets, and stoves. We’re also providing large scale food distributions in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, organizing safe spaces for children to play and learn, and carrying out a range of child protection activities.

Save the Children Canada is a member of the Humanitarian Coalition.


UNICEF is working to support European countries that are receiving refugee and migrant children and families and providing safe spaces for children to play and get psychosocial support. In Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, we are providing Syrian refugees with clean water, vaccines, education, psychosocial support, winter supplies and protection. UNICEF is also on the ground in Syria distributing life-saving supplies to children and families caught in the crosshairs of conflict.


Donations received and designated “Syria Relief” will be applied directly to support United Church Mission & Service partners and associates in this work. Funds donated to the appeal will be distributed to the ACT Alliance and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).


World Renew is working with local organizations in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan to provide support and assistance to displaced families struggling to survive in the face of their new reality. In Lebanon, food and food vouchers are being distributed through local churches and in Jordan, newly arrived refugees are receiving emergency food assistance until they can register for international humanitarian support. Within Syria, World Renew is working through several local churches to meet the basic needs of displaced families with cooking supplies, blankets and other much-needed items.


World Relief Canada is launching a new Refugee Emergency Fund to bring desperately needed help and support. Despite security risks, we’re at work on the ground supporting families who urgently need access to safe water, shelter and vital essentials.


Globally, WUSC's Student Refugee program is the only program of its kind that combines resettlement with higher education. Many of Syria’s refugees are currently living in Jordan and Lebanon, where WUSC has been working to provide Syrian youth with a chance to build a brighter future in Canada. Since 1978, we have sponsored over 1,500 refugees to resettle in Canada and attend Canadian universities, colleges and cegeps.



*How the Syria Emergency Relief Fund is administered (From the Government of Canada website):

The government will use the money set aside in the fund to provide financing to experienced international and Canadian humanitarian organizations using established Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) channels and procedures. The Syria Emergency Relief Fund is separate from the funds raised by charities and is administered separately by the Government of Canada.

This means that a charity declaring the amount of eligible donations raised does not receive a matching dollar from the Government of Canada. Read more...

Photo: Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Credit: UNHCR, Used under Creative Commons License