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[Updated on 9 August, 2018]

Years of brutal fighting have devastated Syria, a country that was a thriving, middle-income country before the start of the conflict in 2011.

More than 300,000 people have been killed, 13.5 million people are in need of assistance and 5 million refugees have fled 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. But the scale of this emergency is huge and we still urgently need your help.

The situation

  • According to the UN, more than 300,000 people have been killed since the crisis began in March 2011, with the likely total far higher.
  • Half of Syria's population of 22 million have been forced to flee their homes.
  • 13.5 million people inside Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, of which 6.3 million have had to leave their homes.
  • 5 million people have fled the country, with the majority seeking refuge in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, where a quarter of the population are now Syrian refugees.
  • 86% of refugees live outside camps in Jordan and 70% of refugees in Lebanon live below the poverty line.
  • Syrian refugees account for the majority of the more than one million people who've fled to Europe since the start of 2015.
  • Oxfam Hong Kong allocated HK$2.76 million to respond to this emergency.  

We urgently need your help to do more.


Oxfam's response 

Oxfam's response in Lebanon

The impact of the wider Syria crisis in Lebanon has been massive - a 30% population increase means every area of life is under pressure, with schools, hospitals, housing and businesses all struggling to cope. We work both directly with refugees themselves, and with communities hosting refugees to address common challenges such as water and jobs. We are helping families get the information they need about their legal and human rights and connecting them to medical, legal and support services.

Oxfam has reached more than 250,000 vulnerable people in Lebanon. Our response has included:

  • Providing 3,200 hygiene kits accompanied by hygiene promotion and awareness sessionsand distributing household, communal and municipal waste bins.
  • Building and repairing over 1,100 toilets, ensuring that each is shared by no more than 20 people.
  • Installing over 720 water tanks in communal areas.
  • Delivering 10 million litres of water through water trucking, providing refugees with clean water for drinking, cooking and washing.
  • Constructing or repairing 70 shared bathing facilities, and providing families with jerry cans and water storage containers. 


Oxfam's response in Jordan

Oxfam is working in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan's fourth largest 'city', to address water needs among other things. We currently help nearly 25,000 camp residents, and are working with partners on constructing a water network throughout the camp that will address the needs of all 80,000 people who live there.

Oxfam currently works in three of Za'atari's 12 districts, supervising water and sanitation, refuse management and the cleaning and maintenance of water, hygiene and sanitation blocks, we also co-ordinate hygiene promotion activities. 

In Za'atari refugee camp, Oxfam has completed construction of the first phase of the water network. Managing waste water is also crucial, and a waste water network has also been completed: 489 households now have septic tanks installed and connected, with 243 private household toilets constructed for the most vulnerable households.

In host communities Oxfam is still providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable refugees and Jordanians, and at the same time working on more long term development issues such as water governance, economic opportunities and gender equality. During the last year Oxfam has provided humanitarian assistance to 5,913 families, who have received support in terms of winterization kits that allow vulnerable families to protect themselves from the harsh winters, protection services, cash assistance, and the rehabilitation of household water and sanitation facilities.


Oxfam's response in Syria

Oxfam has had an office inside Syria since July 2013, responding alongside other agencies to the urgent need for clean water. An estimated 35% of water treatment plants in Syria have been damaged during the conflict and there are concerns over water contamination.

We are working primarily to make sure people have enough clean water, and are able to keep themselves clean and healthy. The Suleiman Al-Halabi water pumping station is the main water source for Aleppo city, and we are committed to keeping the generator, which we previously installed, operational. Water pumped from here reaches people across conflict lines. We are currently installing a second huge generator in Aleppo to increase the capacity of water delivered to the population of perhaps 1.5 million people.

In Hama, the equipping of the Lwebde pumping station has been completed, facilitating the supply of clean water to 133,000 conflict affected people. The security situation continues to make operations very challenging.


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.

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.

2014-03-14     A wedding between refugee tents: A Syrian father longs for home

2013-12-03      Downton Abbey star supports Oxfam in making appeal to help Syria refugees

“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.”

2013-08-13 Actor Gael García Bernal meets Syrian refugees in Jordan with Oxfam

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