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.
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.

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, Serbia and Macedonia.

The scale of the Syrian crisis

Since the crisis started in March 2011, close to half a million 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 five 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, 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 87% in Jordan live below the national poverty line.

More recently, the ongoing military campaign launched in mid-November to regain control of Aleppo, added to the siege that the city has been facing since July 2016, has left 250,000 civilians trapped, victim of severe human rights violations. Prolonged fighting has caused massive-scale destruction and led to the displacement of 110 000 people.

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 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.

Syrian Arab Red Crescent distributing 300 Oxfam family hygiene kitsOn 13 December 2016, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent distributed 300 Oxfam family hygiene kits, in the Masaken Hanano area of Aleppo which  contain washing powder, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, towels, etc.  

Our work inside Syria

As of the end of December, approximately 600,000 people in Aleppo were still deprived of regular access to water supply, while thousands of people in Damascus and around are threatened with a water crisis.

We are focusing on rehabilitating the water infrastructure, including repairing wells and providing alternative power source to operate water pumping stations during regular cut of electricity. We are planning to provide clean water to 1.5 million people and working on public health promotion, solid waste management and supporting livelihoods.

We are also distributing hygiene kits, water bottles, blankets and floor mats, and installating 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.

Peace talks between the Government of Syria and opposition groups are taking place in the Kazakh capital Astana this week. They're being sponsored by Russia,   Iran  and Turkey. The talks follow the announcement of a ceasefire agreement in Syria at the end of December by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Whilst there are ongoing clashes outside Damascus and airstrikes on Idlib, as well as fighting in  ISIS-held areas, other parts of the ceasefire are considered generally to be holding. Further UN-backed talks are scheduled to take place in Geneva on 8th Feb. -> Read the statement

We will continue 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 23 January 2017