Fighting in Syria between government forces and opposing groups continues to escalate, including in densely populated areas, causing widespread death, injury, and displacement.
The humanitarian suffering caused by the crisis is already staggering. More than 100,000 lives have been lost and more than two million people have fled to neighboring countries. Over half of them are children. They are in desperate need of shelter, food and water.
With large numbers of people still fleeing the conflict in Syria, the situation long has been critical. Aid agencies including Oxfam and host countries have almost reached their capacity to cope with recent surges.
- The UN estimates that almost 7 million Syrians inside of Syria are in need of assistance, including 4.25 million internally displaced.
- Thousands continue to flee Syria daily.
- The total number of refugees in neighboring countries is now more than 2.2 million, nearly half of them are children.
- It is estimated that the population of Lebanon has increased by more than 25% and the population of Jordan by 6%. This is putting extreme pressure on local infrastructure.
Oxfam is now helping half a million people affected by the Syria crisis across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. We aim to reach 650,000 by the end of March 2014.
Oxfam's beneficiary numbers for the Syria response have doubled from 250,000 to at least 500,000 following the installation of two truck-sized generators to power two water treatment plants in Damascus city and the greater Damascus province (Rif Damascus) in late November. Beginning on 27 November, Oxfam, in partnership with the Ministry of Water Resources and the local water boards, is now delivering safe, clean water to an estimated 250-300,000 people.
The generators are the first two of 18 to be installed, and are powering plants connected to two springs that have been supplying Syrians with water since ancient times. The new power generation enables the huge water processing plants to treat and pump more than 700,000 additional litres of water per hour uninterrupted from power outages. In line with Sphere standards, for every hour the generators are running, close to 50,000 people will have access to the minimum quantity of 15 litres per person per day.
As winter begins to bite, Oxfam is soon to start the distribution of special winter kits in Jordan, which will provide a vital lifeline during the cold months. The kits going to people living in flats will include blankets, gas heaters and refill for four months; and those living in tents will receive blankets and plastic sheeting to help protect the tents better from the rain and snow.