Crisis in Syria

Over 80 percent of the population is living below the poverty line in Syria and over two million children are out of school. Surviving the war was only chapter 1 for Syrian families. Now they must rebuild their lives. Photo: Dania Kareh/Oxfam

Over 80 percent of the population is living below the poverty line in Syria and over two million children are out of school. Surviving the war was only chapter 1 for Syrian families. Now they must rebuild their lives. Photo: Dania Kareh/Oxfam

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The crisis in Syria continues to cause tremendous human suffering to people both inside and outside the country. The conflict is driving the largest refugee crisis in the world. Nearly 12 million people – 2 in 3 Syrians – are still dependent on humanitarian aid. They need your help.

The scale of the Syrian crisis

Since the crisis started in March 2011, hundreds of thousands lives have been lost in Syria. More than half of the population have fled their homes, many several times.

“Even before the war we lived a modest life here in Aleppo, but at least we never had to sleep on an empty stomach as we sometimes must do now. I am currently the main provider of our family and we simply need help,”

Fadi, 45, recently returned to Eastern Ghouta’s Arbin

While the fighting in large parts of the country has subsided, nearly 12 millions of women, men and children continue to find themselves in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Homes and schools have been destroyed, neighbourhoods lack clean running water and sanitation, and people lack the means of making a living to feed their families.  

The conflict continues to drive the largest refugee crisis in the world, with more than 5 million refugees living in neighbouring countries including Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, the majority in extreme poverty.

In Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, we are helping more than 2.5 million people with life-saving clean water, sanitation and vital food aid, as well as helping refugees make a living and protecting them from violence and abuse. 

Our work in Jordan and Lebanon

Over the past years, we have scaled up our activities in Lebanon in response to the Syria crisis, improving water and sanitation including solid waste management, and providing emergency cash assistance for refugees and poor Lebanese, helping refugees with legal protection issues, and supporting small businesses.

Given the protracted nature of the crisis, we have re-oriented our work in Jordan to promote more sustainable solutions to the needs of crisis-affected Syrians and Jordanians. For instance, we run an innovative recycling project with the aim of mitigating the waste management issues in Za’atari refugee camp. We’re also providing livelihood opportunities to refugees and have increased the reliability of water supply to over 45,000 people.

Un bénévole d'Oxfam vérifie l'eau transportée par camion avant de la pomper vers le réservoir d'eau principal de Herjalleh, au sud de Damas. An Oxfam volunteer monitors the trucked water before it is pumped to the main water reservoir in Herjalleh, a community of 30,000 to the south of Damascus, where nearly half the population has been displaced from elsewhere in Syria. Photo: Dania Kareh/Oxfam

Our work inside Syria

Oxfam currently works in nine of Syria’s 14 governorates, including in Dar’a, Rural Damascus, Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Deir Ez-Zor, working in coordination with three national NGO partners. In 2018, we helped approximately two million people.

Our work includes:

  • Provision of water – through repairing water sources and the water network, installing communal water and sanitation facilities, and supporting household-level repairs.
  • Sanitation – repairing sewage networks to prevent contamination of the water table.
  • Hygiene promotion – distributing hygiene materials including soap, washing powder, nappies, and female hygiene products; and conducting awareness sessions in communities and schools.
  • Food security and livelihoods – including distribution of seeds and assets to farmers, cash for work programmes, and supporting women and men to gain new skills through training.

Support our work to help vulnerable Syrians rebuild their lives.