Mada, 41, a refugee from Syria, stands outside of the International Rescue Committee's women and girls’ community centre
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The civil war in Syria has created the world’s largest refugee crisis, with more than 11m Syrians having fled their homes. Many have ended up in camps or living in neighbouring countries: there are, for example, more than 1.1m Syrian refugees living in Lebanon.

This year’s FT seasonal appeal partner, the International Rescue Committee, last year helped 4m Syrians. With the help of FT readers and the UK government, which is doubling readers’ donations, it hopes to reach many more in 2015.

The charity, founded in 1933 by Albert Einstein to rescue German families from Nazi persecution, now focuses on helping to save and rebuild lives in more than 30 countries affected by crisis and violence. It offers both immediate aid and longer-term help for displaced people. These include Mada, a 41-year-old Syrian living in Lebanon. She is photographed near an IRC-run community centre for women and girls, where she attends a weekly class to help her to navigate life in Lebanon. Specialist IRC staff at the centre offer emotional support sessions for women and girls, as well as group activities that aim to help women rebuild a sense of community in Lebanon.

Read more about IRC’s vital work and donate online at

Photograph: Sara Hylton

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