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 13.5 million people urgently need your help.

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, Italy, 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 urgent need of humanitarian aid, including 6.3 million people internally displaced from their homes. 

More than 5 million people have fled to neighboring countries including Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, which is putting extreme pressure on local infrastructure and economies. Lebanon alone hosts 1.2 million Syrian refugees within a total population of 4.5 million, which means that about one out of every four people is a refugee from Syria. Turkey currently hosts more than 2.7 million Syrians, as well as a quarter of million refugees of other nationalities, more than any other country in the world.

Additionally, the majority of Syrian families sheltering in neighboring countries live in urban areas, outside of formal camp settings. This makes it harder for them to access vital help. More than 70% of refugees in Lebanon and some 93% of refugees outside camps in Jordan live below the national poverty line, with few options to work legally as they often lack valid residence.

Besides, more than 600,000 people are trapped in besieged areas, where it is either impossible or extremely difficult to provide humanitarian aid.

Our work in Jordan and Lebanon

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 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.

On 13 December 2016, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent distributed 300 Oxfam family hygiene kits, in the Masaken Hanano area of Aleppo.On 13 December 2016, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent distributed 300 Oxfam family hygiene kits, in the Masaken Hanano area of Aleppo which contains washing powder, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, towels, etc.  Photo credit: Oxfam/SARC

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 regular power cuts. We 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 also distributing hygiene kits, water bottles, blankets and floor mats, and installing latrines and water tanks.

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.

Despite the partial ceasefire,  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.

We are also calling for rich states to commit to fully funding this year’s Syria crisis response appeal and to resettle at least the most vulnerable 10 percent of all registered Syrian refugees by the end of 2017.

Updated June 2017