[update on 23 December, 2016]
Over the past six years, with no end in sight to the conflict in Syria, hundreds of thousands of people are living in desperate conditions and exposed to continuing violence. Today, half the pre-conflict population of 22 million Syrians have fled their homes and more than 13.5 million people urgently need your help. In December, 35,000 people were evacuated from the northern city of Aleppo according to the UN.
The human suffering caused by the six years of civil war in Syria is overwhelming. We are helping those affected by the crisis, across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia.
The Scale of the Syrian Crisis
Since the crisis started in March 2011, more than 300,000 lives have been lost in Syria. Today, the situation in the country continues to go from bad to worse with over 13.5 million people affected by the conflict and in need of humanitarian aid, including 6.1 million people internally displaced from their homes.
More than 4.8 million people have fled to neighbouring countries including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Three-quarters of them are women and children. The steady arrival of families displaced by the conflict in those countries is putting extreme pressure on local infrastructure and economies. In Lebanon alone, one in every five people is now a refugee from Syria. Turkey currently hosts more than 2.7 million Syrians, as well as a quarter of a million refugees of other nationalities – more than any other country in the world.
Additionally, the majority of Syrian families sheltering in neighbouring countries live in urban areas, outside of formal camp settings. This makes it harder for them to access vital help. More than 70 per cent of refugees in Lebanon and 87 per cent in Jordan live below the national poverty line.
Oxfam Hong Kong allocated HK$2.76 million to respond to this emergency. We urgently need your help to do more.
Oxfam’s Response in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria
In Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, we are helping more than 2 million people with life-saving clean water, sanitation, and vital support for families who have lost everything.
In Neighbouring Countries
In Jordan and Lebanon, we are supporting refugees with clean drinking water or cash with establishing the operation centres since 2013. We are helping families get the information they need about their legal and human rights and connecting them to medical, legal and support services.
We have built shower and toilet blocks in refugee camps, informal settlements along routes used by people fleeing Syria and have installed or repaired toilets in communities hosting refugees. Piped water schemes are being developed for Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp and in host communities in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Inside Syria, we are focusing on rehabilitating the water infrastructure, including repairing wells. We are planning to provide clean water to 1.5 million people and working on public health promotion, solid waste management and supporting livelihoods.
In mid-December, Oxfam started moving the relief stock from Damascus to Aleppo. These include:
- a total of 20L Jerry Cans and 14L buckets with taps for 6,000 households
- 10m³ PVC water tanks and 45m³ water tanks for the affected community
More relief items, such as 10,200 family hygiene kits, latrines, winter clothing, baby diapers, blankets, mattresses and sanitary pads will be dispatched next.
Campaigning for a Political Solution to the Conflict
Providing life-saving support to the millions of people affected by this devastating conflict is essential but it is not enough. We have been campaigning and advocating for an end to the fighting, and a sustainable and inclusive political solution since the beginning of the crisis.
We will continue to call on all parties to the conflict to stop any arms transfers and guarantee humanitarian access and protection of civilians, whether inside Syria or in neighbouring countries.
We are also calling for rich states to commit to fully funding this year’s Syria crisis response appeal and to resettle 10 per cent of all registered Syrian refugees by the end of 2017.
The full fair share analysis for funding and resettlement pledges received to date are available here.
The paper ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way – Safe havens needed for refugees from Syria’ released in December is available here.
On December 20, an Oxfam team visited Masaken Hanano district in Aleppo, home to about 19,000 people, to assess the water and sanitation needs of Syrian civilians who had been displaced to this area which was taken by the Syrian army and its allies from opposition groups at the end of November. Our team met Alaa, 10, lost his father two years ago, and lives with his mother and eight brothers and sisters. He recently moved from East Aleppo to Masaken Hanano. He remembers his life in East Aleppo as one of fear and poverty. Without their only breadwinner, his family struggled to survive. They started by selling their personal belongings. As for the food aid that they received irregularly, it was not enough. Often, Alaa and his family had to sleep on an empty stomach. In Masaken Hanano, they are staying in a bare apartment with no furniture and no water. Every day, Alaa has to queue for more than an hour in order to fill his jerry can.
Oxfam is now supporting more people like Alaa and their families.
“I met just a few of the millions of refugees from Syria who are going to need the very basics to keep them warm and survive the coming months. Oxfam will be doing the best they can by delivering winter kits to help many of the poorest families, but they want to be able to do much more and so we really need the public’s help.”
2013-05-22 The Girl Whose Face You’ll Never See