Here’s what you can do to help besieged, war-torn Syria

The crisis in Syria reached new, heartbreaking heights on Tuesday when one of the most devastating chemical attacks left dozens of people – including at least 27 children – dead or critically injured.

A man carries the body of a dead child, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria, on April 4, 2017.
REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

While watching a humanitarian disaster unfold before your eyes across the world may make you feel powerless, there are some things you can do to aid the people still in Syria and the 4.8 million refugees who have fled their country since the civil war began nearly six years ago.

Here are some actions you can take to help:

Donate to a charity

Boys eat bread as they wait to be evacuated from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria December 16, 2016.
REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

These 13 organizations received 3 or 4 stars (out of 4) from Charity Navigator, an independent nonprofit that rates charities based on their financial management and accountability. Here are links to their websites, listed in alphabetical order:

American Refugee Committee


Catholic Relief Services

Global Hope Network International


Helping Hand for Relief and Development

International Rescue Committee

Islamic Relief USA

Mercy-USA for Aid and Development

Oxfam America

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

Save the Children



Sabdul-Hamid Alyousef, 29, holds his twin babies who were killed during a suspected chemical weapons attack in the northern province of Idlib, Syria, on April 4, 2017. He stroked their hair and choked back tears, mumbling, “Say goodbye, baby, say goodbye” to their lifeless bodies.
Alaa Alyousef/AP

Your time can be even more valuable than your money.

Instead of – or in addition to – donating to a charity helping Syrian refugees, volunteer with them.

Contact any of the charities listed on the previous slide (plus find more from USAID here) and ask them how you can give your time.

You can also join Doctors Without Borders and go to Syria or a European country where refugees have fled to.

If you live in several European countries or Canada, you can also list your home as a place where Syrian refugees can stay (sort of like a free Airbnb).

Educate yourself and others

Learn more about the crisis from official sources, and educate your friends and family about what you discover. The more you know about the crisis, the more you can help.

Here is more information about the situation in Syria from the United Nations Refugee Agency and the USAID Center For International Disaster Information.

Keep up with the latest news on Business Insider’s Syria page.

Contact your lawmakers

People wait to be evacuated from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria, December 16, 2016.
REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

Call, email, or send a letter to your elected officials or the US State Department and encourage them to act the way you want them to.

Your voice can be louder than you might think.