The international response to Syria is failing on three fronts – insufficient aid, meagre resettlement offers and continued arms transfers – international aid agency Oxfam warns in a report published today.
Oxfam helping Syria's refugees prepare for and cope with winter 2014/15
Oxfam's photos on Flickr: Oxfam helping Syria's refugees prepare for and cope with winter 2014. Click on the photos for the stories.
March 2014 marks the third year since the start of the conflict in Syria and the statistics make sobering reading. During these three years more than 100,000 people have been killed and 9.3 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. Around 6.5 million people have fled their homes and are now living in temporary accommodation, schools or other shelter across Syria. More than 2.4 million refugees – half of them children – have fled into neighbouring countries.
Often traumatised, people have been forced to leave families, homes, jobs and communities in fear of their lives. Many left with nothing but the clothes they wore. For others, any money they had has gone on food or rent. Despite many people being highly skilled, most cannot find work. A lot of families can’t send their children to school, or get regular health care. The impact is also being felt on host communities, with the influx of so many families putting a massive strain on services, utilities, housing and schools.
Oxfam has been scaling up its emergency programme in the region since 2012. We are helping refugees who have fled into Jordan and Lebanon with basic needs from supplying clean water to providing money to pay for food, hygiene essentials and shelter. We’re working with families in camps, unofficial settlements and in rented accommodation, supporting both refugees and the communities that host them.
In 2013, Oxfam started working in Syria itself, trucking water to those who have no regular source and repairing damaged infrastructure to restore water supplies to more than half a million people in both government and opposition-held areas.
As the anniversary of the Syria crisis approaches, refugees surveyed say they fear they will not see Syria again, according to new research by Oxfam. Urgent need for Geneva peace process to be kick-started as well as improved response from donor countries to UN's humanitarian appeals.
The story of Sabeen, who fled Syria just 24 hours after giving birth to her baby, will stay with Nigel Timmins, Oxfam's deputy humanitarian director, forever.
A new image from the street artist evokes both the cost of the conflict and the hope for peace.
“This resolution should not have been necessary,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon told the 15 member states of the UN Security Council on their unanimous adoption of a resolution demanding humanitarian access across Syria.
“This resolution should not have been necessary”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon told the 15 member states of the UN Security Council on their unanimous adoption of a resolution demanding humanitarian access across Syria.
Things are hotting up in Montreux, on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, where Oxfam campaigners are among the hundreds of diplomats, journalists, civil society and solidarity groups gathering for the beginning of the long awaited ‘Geneva II’ peace talks for Syria.
Here are some truly shocking numbers. December 9 will be the 1000th day of the conflict in Syria. In that time, over 100,000 people have lost their lives. More than 2 million Syrians have had to flee the country. Another 6 and a half million still within Syria have had to leave their homes. Nearly half the population are now in need of humanitarian assistance.