Crisis in Syria

Aida, 10, from Homs province in Syria plays in an informal settlement for Syrian refugees near the town of Zahle in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam
Aida, 10, from Homs province in Syria plays in an informal settlement for Syrian refugees near the town of Zahle in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam

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 million people urgently need your help.

The human suffering caused by seven years of civil war in Syria is overwhelming. We are helping those affected by the crisis, across Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan and in Greece, Italy, Serbia and Macedonia.

The scale of the Syrian crisis

Since the crisis started in March 2011, at least 400,000 lives have been lost in Syria. Today, the situation in the country continues to go from bad to worse with over 13 million in desperate need of humanitarian aid, including nearly 400,000 people trapped in besieged areas such as Eastern Ghouta.

More than half of the population – nearly 12 million people – have fled their homes, many have had to flee multiple times. The conflict in Syria continues to drive the largest refugee crisis in the world, with more than 5.6 million refugees living in neighbouring countries including Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, the majority in extreme poverty.

In Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, we are helping more than 2 million people with life-saving clean water, sanitation and vital food aid, as well as helping refugees make a living and protecting them from violence and abuse. 

Our work in Jordan and Lebanon

We are supporting refugees with clean drinking water or cash. We are helping families get the information they need about their legal and human rights, access improved work opportunities, 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. We have installed piped water schemes in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp and in host communities in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

An Oxfam volunteer monitors the trucked water before it is pumped to the main water reservoir in Herjalleh, a community of 30,000 to the south of Damascus, where nearly half the population has been displaced from elsewhere in Syria. Photo: Dania Kareh/Oxfam

Our work inside Syria

We are focusing on rehabilitating the water infrastructure, including repairing wells, water trucking and providing an alternative power source for operating water pumping stations during the regular power cuts. 

We have provided clean water to more than 1.5 million people from 10 governorates and are working on public health promotion, solid waste management, and supporting livelihoods.

We are distributing hygiene kits, water bottles, blankets and floor mats. We have also started providing emergency bread provisions and warm weather clothing in Deir Ez-Zor, working directly with a local NGO to distribute these goods. 

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.

The continued violence, bloodshed and suffering in Syria represents a catastrophic failure by the international community to bring peace and security.  We will continue to call on all parties to the conflict to commit to ending the massive violationsstop any arms transfers and guarantee humanitarian access and protection of civilians, whether inside Syria or in neighboring countries.