Oxfam in Syria Public health Promotion focal point in Aleppo. Sana Majeed is 24 years old. Her job is to increase awareness in communities in Aleppo to improve health and prevent the spread of disease. Credit: Islam Mardini/Oxfam

After eight years of crisis in Syria, people continue to face significant challenges in their daily lives, with over 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The conflict remains the world's largest displacement crisis with over 6 million people having been displaced inside Syria, many on multiple occasions; and over 5 million people fled the country and became refugees. According to the UN, 6.5 million people are facing acute food insecurity, and over one-third of the population relies on unsafe water supply.  Seven-in-ten people are living in extreme poverty.

Oxfam in Syria

Since June 2013, Oxfam in Syria has been working to address the immediate live-saving and sustainable water and sanitation needs of thousands of crisis-affected women, men, girls and boys. We’ve provided support in 12 governorates across Syria, trucking water to those who have no access to safe, clean, water; rehabilitating water sources; equipping wells and pumping stations; repairing the water network; providing hygiene materials; and conducting public health awareness campaigns to help prevent the spread of diseases. 

We continue to respond to emergencies in Syria.  When people were displaced from Eastern Ghouta during heavy fighting, Oxfam was on the scene to provide clean water and sanitation in shelters. While in Aleppo, our team has helped with restoring clean and safe water by repairing damaged sections of the water network and water sources, installing public water tanks, distributing hygiene items, and running public health promotion sessions. 

In late 2017, Oxfam in Syria began providing food security and viable livelihoods support.  In Deir Ez-Zor, working with a Syrian partner organization, we provided bread and warm clothing to thousands of families. We also were the first Damascus-based INGO to provide cash support to internally displaced people, and have now started running cash for work programs. Our teams provide other emergency distributions, of items including seasonal clothes.  Oxfam has provided vocational training opportunities, helping people gain vital skills to further their position in the job market.  

We are committed to gender equality, and ensure that this is mainstreamed in our work, as part of needs assessments, project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. 

We are committed to raising the voice of the most vulnerable Syrians, ensuring that it is Syrian voices that shape the humanitarian response; and we share best practice with other humanitarian actors working from Damascus, and with the wider humanitarian community. 

With our programming work, Oxfam in Syria aims to support the resilience of communities by: 

  • Provision of sustainable access to clean water through the rehabilitation and restoration of water supply and water distribution systems. 
  • Provision of emergency water trucking services, materials, equipment and repair.  
  • Enhance the capacity of local partners and water authorities’ staff for improved emergency WASH coordination (including disease response, information management, and needs analysis).
  • Provision of WASH facilities and hygiene promotion in collective shelters, public buildings and schools.
  • Provision of technical training to local partners and water authorities’ staff on emergency WASH, to support adaptation of existing water systems and services to the emergency context.
  • Enhance the capacity of households to increase their chances for employment and then to be economically empowered 
  • Improve food production; meeting basic needs, ensuring nutritious foods are available, and supporting functioning local markets
  • Increase liquidity for households, by cash transfers so they can repay debts to support long-term resilience.