Middle East Region

Dorcas is active in five countries in the Middle East: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Yemen.

Our involvement in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria stems from a protracted state of humanitarian crisis. The nature of armed conflict continues to grow in scale and complexity throughout the region.

We work to bring about resilience and recovery for displaced individuals in all four countries - struck by security threats and human rights violations.

In 2018, we put women, children and marginalised groups at the heart of our interventions.

Harnessing new technology

In Lebanon, developments in government policy have pushed over 750,000 Syrian refugees onto the wrong side of the law. How can we better protect them?

Salvation in War

"I try to reach the women that people don't see. The girls that find themselves alone in this world." Asmaa was 16 when her life turned upside down...


Project participants who received help through relief efforts.


Children we are able to reach through our programmes and safety nets.


People who were a part of our Early Recovery interventions.


A total of 12.8 million people are in need of urgent assistance in Syria - including 6.2 million internally displaced persons (IDP). Across the country, disregard for human life is overwhelming.

Last year, Dorcas almost doubled our number of programme activities. In rebel-held Hanano area Community Centre staff provide psychosocial support and protection - including management of Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence cases. 40,800 patients in El-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zoor received emergency medical treatment - a result of our collaboration with UNOCHA.

Alongside 11 Dutch relief organisations (Syria Joint Response) Dorcas delivered vital equipment and medication to Primary Health Care Centres and Hospitainers in Aleppo. Our School Feeding Programme supplied daily meals to 2,962 children in nine schools and food parcels to 1,700 families in Aleppo and Damascus.


Lebanon has experienced a vast influx of Palestinian and Syrian refugees in recent years - with ageing infrastructure and crowded IDP camps struggling to manage numbers.

2018 was marked by the success of a new Community Centre in Batroun. Psychosocial support and legal services helped 670 Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese people build resilience. A new project at our Aley Community Centre followed in its footsteps - focusing on support to victims of abuse, including domestic workers and children.

Dorcas also delivered food and nutritional support to some 2,000 children in schools and refugee camps through four Emergency Feeding Programmes (ESF). Through educational activities and summer camps we served a further 1,142 children and parents.


While fighting has ceased following the defeat of the Islamic State (IS), some eight million people are in need of urgent assistance. Over five million children are exposed to rights violations - including forced recruitment to armed groups.

In 2018, two regional health projects in Dohuk and Nineveh provided 26,000 people with access to medical services. In the town of Bashiqa, 5,000 people received food vouchers contributing to short-term food security. To boost livelihoods for the long-term we built home and poultry gardens and community greenhouses across Iraq.

A new Back to School campaign in Sinjar and Wana, designed to address the high percentage of out-of-school youth, undertook creative workshops with children and parents. A comic book on child rights - designed by the children themselves - was a particular highlight. In Wana, enrolment increased by 50% - from 280 children in 2017 to 420 children in 2018.


Throughout the country, terrorism threats and a strained economy are ongoing areas of unrest. Despite major strides in parliament, a recent poll saw Egypt rank worst for women's rights out of all the Arab states.

In 2018, Dorcas further embraced our theme of Women Empowerment - particularly through our partnership with Life Vision for Development, which continued the work of four life skills programmes. Our Farmer Field School (FFS) project helped improve the agricultural and entrepreneurial skills of 450 female farmers in Upper Egypt/ The project consisted of regular coaching sessions on topics such as literacy, peer to peer support and connecting with business' via online services. Psychosocial support and awareness-raising activities saw the increased protection of 800 Egyptian children against FGM and domestic abuse.


Yemen is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis worldwide and with close to 21 million people, more than two thirds of the population are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. This disaster is mainly the consequence of the war which started in 2015 and have led to the collapse of public services and economic breakdown.

With previous support (2019, 2020) to food security activities in country, Dorcas established in 2021 its Country Office in Yemen (Aden) aiming to bring relief to the overwhelming humanitarian needs and gaps still presence in country. With the Food Security, WASH and Protection experience in the region, Dorcas is well placed to starts it own operations in Yemen.

As a new member of the Yemen Joint Response (Dutch Relief Alliance), the focus of Dorcas in 2022 and 2023 will be on food assistance (cash and in kind), distributions of hygiene kits and solar cookers and the rehabilitations of wells and health facilities.