A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
More than 300,000 civilians in Aleppo and an estimated 60,000 in the Manbij area, Syria, are cut off from aid despite promises made to open full access to aid across the country six months ago.
This briefing sets out Oxfam’s challenge to world leaders who fail to resolve conflicts, permit warring parties to ignore International Humanitarian Law, and do everything possible to keep the world’s refugees and displaced people from their doors.
Oxfam and other agencies say that the international community must agree a bold new deal for Syria’s refugees if it is serious about tackling the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. The new deal must provide more investment in Syria’s neighbours, which host more than 4 million refugees, and an end to restrictions that prevent refugees from working and in some cases living legally in these countries.
Thousands are fleeing to safety in Europe, including many Syrians, who are battling harsh winter conditions in the Balkans with few resources to cope. Oxfam is there.
The story of a Syrian refugee who begins a new life in Jordan’s Zaatari camp fixing mobile phones and helps fellow refugees print off photos of happier times is the focus of an upcoming documentary film which will be previewed to mark World Refugee Day (June 20th) as part of a joint campaign by Oxfam and the European Commission’s Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO).
Oxfam has calculated that nearly half of the world’s top donors didn’t give their fair share of aid to the Syria crisis in 2014, based on the size of their economies.
As the Berlin conference on the Syrian refugee situation concludes, Andy Baker, who leads Oxfam's response to the Syria crisis, said:
More than 65 per cent of refugees surveyed by Oxfam fear they may not be able to go back to Syria despite desperately wanting to return. There is an urgent need for Geneva peace process to be kick-started as well as improved response from donor countries to UN’s humanitarian appeal.
As the Syria crisis enters its fourth year, show your solidarity with the people of Syria and help put an end to the bloodshed.
Oxfam asked ordinary Syrians -- many of them refugees in Jordan -- what they want to come out of the Geneva talks. Here's what they told us.