As the Syrian crisis enters its tenth year, four million Syrians in Idlib and northern Aleppo continue to suffer, simply awaiting the worst to happen, says Oxfam. Many displaced Syrian across borders tell Oxfam how their lives have been disrupted and destroyed.
The UN states that one million people have recently been displaced, thousands including women and children are sleeping out in the open. Many have lost their lives. Farming families have had their livestock lost and stolen, and entirely lost their income. Children have no schools to go to; damaged homes mean people live huddled together in single rooms, and the lack of water and electricity across the country makes life even harder.
Oxfam’s Country Director in Syria, Moutaz Adham, said, “It’s becoming harder and harder to remember a time before the crisis – and as it continues on it makes it even more of a struggle for people to have any hope for the future. In Idlib, people have told us how they struggle for vital water and healthcare as many essential services and infrastructure have been destroyed in the violence.
People have lost loved ones, seen their families torn apart, been forced from their homes - sometimes more than once. Families who once proudly owned their own small businesses are struggling to survive – many are relying on handouts.
“We must see an end to this violence and allow people to rebuild their lives. All sides of the conflict must commit to this and ensure that the Syrian people, particularly women, who now head one-third of Syrian households, are determining their future. All countries involved in the conflict must commit to finding a long term and peaceful solution. Humanitarian agencies must be granted access to provide help to people who desperately need it", adds Adham.
“The international community needs to do much more to help Syrians, both in and outside the country. Hosting communities in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, need to be properly supported while doing everything possible to support Syrian refugees to have a dignified existence. In doing so, the will and the voices of the Syrian people need to be heard. All parties must ensure the safety of civilians, including refugees and others who wish to seek asylum at international borders.
“Nine years has been too long, and the Syrian people have suffered enough. Nine years must not be allowed to become ten.”