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.
Oxfam reaction to donor pledges for Syria humanitarian crisis
Welcoming generous donations to the UN humanitarian appeal for Syria, Nigel Timmins, Oxfam’s Deputy Humanitarian Director, who visited Zaatari camp in Jordan today, said:
“We welcome these generous pledges from the international community. The world has stepped forward and says it will help the Syrian people. This is good news. Donors now need to ensure that their pledges quickly become real aid – shelter, food, medicine, clean water and education for children – to meet the needs of families that have suffered so much. There should be no delay – people need support now. We would also encourage donors to prepare for the long-haul. The UN appeal covers just six months and it is likely that people will continue to need support for some time to come.
"People from Syria are facing a colossal crisis and it is growing worse every day. Each day new refugees are coming into Jordan and they desperately need help and support. Many are traumatized and have left with little of what they owned; some just fled with the clothes they were wearing and their children. Many have relatives who are still in Syria."
Security situation deteriorating rapidly
The UN estimates that 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, with over 700,000 refugees now sheltering in neighboring countries. Some 40,000 people have arrived in Jordan so far this January, with 6,400 people turning up in one day last week.
In December, the United Nations had estimated that the numbers of Syrian refugees would reach more than 1.1 million by June. It is now predicting this figure will be reached much earlier because of the rapidly deteriorating security situation.
In Lebanon, Oxfam and its local partners have been distributing blankets and mattresses, as well as heaters and gas oil to help the new arrivals stay warm during the harsh winter. The agency is also providing water and sanitation in Zaatari camp in Jordan.
Oxfam staff are available for interviews in Jordan and Lebanon in English, Arabic and French. To arrange interviews contact:
- Caroline Gluck on +44 7867 976041 or +962795470762 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Wynn on + 44 (0) 7769 887139 or email@example.com
- Ian Bray on +44 (0)1865 472289 or +44 (0)7721 461339 or firstname.lastname@example.org