Crisis in Syria

Sara, 11 from Homs, Syria stands by an Oxfam-supplied water tank on the roof of her family’s home in Zarka, Jordan. Shot in the head in Syria, the bullet grazed her skull, bits of shrapnel remain in her scalp. Photo credit: Sam Tarling /Oxfam
Sara, 11 from Homs, Syria, stands by an Oxfam-supplied water tank on the roof of her family’s home in Zarka, Jordan. Shot in the head in Syria, the bullet grazed her skull, bits of shrapnel remain in her scalp. Photo: Sam Tarling /Oxfam

Despite the recent ceasefire, the situation in Syria is critical. 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 5 years of civil war in Syria is overwhelming. Millions of people have fled their homes. We are helping those affected by the crisis, across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia. We need your help to do more.

The scale of the Syrian crisis

Since hostilities began in March 2011, more than 400,000 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 neighboring 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 four people is now 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, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, 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. 70% of refugees in Jordan live below the poverty line and 50% of Syrian refugee children are out of school.

Adding to the pressures in the region is fighting in central and northern Iraq as well as conflict in countries such as Yemen, which has displaced many more families.

Our work in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria

In Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, we are helping more than 1.5 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 and relief supplies, such as blankets and stoves and vouchers for hygiene supplies. 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.

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 a sustainable and inclusive political solution since the beginning of the crisis.

We will continue to insist that the ceasefire is respected and 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 neighboring countries.

We are also calling for rich states to commit to fully funding this year’s Syria crisis response appeal and to resettle 10 percent of all registered Syrian refugees by the end of 2016.

Updated 12 September 2016