Searching for Syria

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Google are launching a powerful new website that gives global online audiences an informative and compelling insight into the Syrian refugee crisis, its staggering human cost and the world’s humanitarian response aimed at helping millions of Syrian families, forced from their homes by violence and persecution, survive and restore their dignity.

From UNHCR, Searching for Syria project.

The “Searching for Syria” website combines UNHCR data and stories, Google Search Trends and other sources to deliver answers to the five most common queries that people around the world are asking about the Syrian refugee crisis:

– What was Syria like before the war?
– What is happening in Syria?
– Who is a refugee?
– Where are Syrian refugees going?
– How can I help Syrian refugees?

The answers are delivered through rich and immersive multimedia content – some produced by UNHCR and some provided by Google.

“Searching for Syria aims to dispel myths and misconceptions about Syria and refugees and provide an entirely fresh look at the biggest humanitarian tragedy of today,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “This is a fantastic project with Google that allows us to pinpoint and answer the five key questions about Syrian refugees and displaced that audiences most want to know and help us rally much needed support and funding for our humanitarian effort.”

“We’re proud to work with the UNHCR to develop Searching for Syria to help raise awareness and inform the world on the human cost of the ongoing conflict and the refugee crisis,” said Jacquelline Fuller, Vice President of “The scale of the Syrian refugee crisis is difficult for most of us to fathom, but the questions on Searching for Syria are a reflection of many people’s desire to understand. Among the top searches in Germany, France, and the UK last year was: What is happening in Syria?”

With the Syrian crisis in its seventh year testing the international resolve and ability to end the conflict, more than five million Syrian refugees face increasing hardships and risks. Host communities in neighbouring countries region continue to bear the brunt of the response to the Syrian crisis in a manner that is not sustainable.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian effort for Syrian refugees, led by UNHCR, faces critical challenges with only 17 per cent of funds available to meet the immediate needs of uprooted Syrian families this year.

Throughout the experience of the “Searching for Syria” website, audiences can browse through the five queries and dive deeper into the content through short editorial passages, refugee profiles, photographs and videos. For users wishing to engage further, the website will offer options to share content via social networks, donate or sign up to UNHCR’s #WithRefugees global petition asking the world leaders to ensure education for refugee children, adequate shelter and livelihoods for refugee families.

The “Searching for Syria” website is available in English, French, German and Spanish with an Arabic version soon to follow. The website will be featured on the Google home page in selected countries or can be accessed directly at

Click on the image to navigate through the multimedia