Donate to the Syria crisis

Oxfam has reached over one million people already with desperately needed food, water and shelter. But the scale of this emergency is huge and we still urgently need your help to continue supporting families forced from their homes by conflict.

The UN has announced that the number of registered Syrian refugees has passed 4 million.

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal 

For detailed information about Oxfam's response, download Oxfam's Syria Crisis: Emergency Response Update, March 2014 (PDF, 499KB)

Sam Tarling / Oxfam

Oxfam aid worker Sally El-Mouallem leads children in a hygiene promotion game at Za'atari camp.

What Oxfam is doing to help Syrian refugees

The situation

More than 200,000 people have lost their lives as a result of the Syrian conflict. Over 11 million people have fled their homes and over 4 million are living in neighbouring countries including Lebanon and Jordan. In Syria alone more than 12 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance such as water, food, and shelter. Oxfam is providing aid and long-term support to hundreds of thousands of people affected by the crisis.

The crisis reached its fourth anniversary in March 2015, and more than half the Syrian population is in need of humanitarian assistance.

Syria remains an Oxfam priority. We estimate that we have reached over a million people already, whether inside Syria or in Lebanon and Jordan.

Syria Crisis Appeal videos

Photo credit: Caroline Gluck

Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB's Chief Executive said:

Resettling refugees from Syria will not solve the crisis, but it could transform the lives of thousands. Offering to resettle 10,000 refugees, rather than the paltry 216 so far, is well within the reach of the UK - a nation with one of the world's biggest economies and a history of welcoming people fleeing persecution.

This country should be leading by example, not shirking and making excuses.

We know from talking to refugees that it is only out of total desperation that they are willing to risk their own and their children's lives to cross to Europe. The UK must do its fair share, and ensure there are more safe and legal routes to this country for these desperate people.


Oxfam's response

Syria's neighbours are struggling to cope with the influx of refugees. Lebanon now has the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide with more than 1 million people making up approximately 25 percent of the population.

Oxfam's response in Lebanon

Oxfam has reached more than 250,000 vulnerable people in Lebanon. Our response has included:

  • Providing 3,200 hygiene kits (accompanied by hygiene promotion and awareness sessions), toilet cleaning kits, and 840 environmental cleaning kits, and distributing household, communal and municipal waste bins.
  • Building and repairing over 1,100 toilets, ensuring that each is shared by no more than 20 people.
  • Installing over 720 water tanks in communal areas.
  • Delivering 10 million litres of water through water trucking, providing refugees with clean water for drinking, cooking and washing.
  • Constructing or repairing 70 shared bathing facilities, and providing families with jerry cans and water storage containers.

Oxfam's response in Jordan

In Jordan we work in both Za'atari refugee camp and in Jordanian communities that are hosting Syrian refugees. Za'atari camp is now the fourth biggest population centre in Jordan, housing around 90,000 Syrian refugees.

Oxfam currently works in three of Za'atari's 12 districts, supervising water and sanitation, refuse management and the cleaning and maintenance of wash blocks, we also co-ordinate hygiene promotion activities. In addition, together with UNICEF and other international actors, we are installing a water network in the camp, which will ensure refugees have safe access to water. To date, our response has included:

  • Building 50 water, sanitation and hygiene blocks, including 318 toilets, 288 bathing areas, 72 laundry areas, and 100 water points, serving up to 15,600 people.
  • Maintaining 120 water, sanitation and hygiene blocks in 3 districts benefitting around 25.000 people.
  • Installing 270 portable latrines as a temporary measure.
  • Distributing 75 commodes for disabled users.
  • Provided 19 x 95,000 litre and 378 x 2,000 litre water tanks.
  • Installed 10 hand-washing facilities in the market area.
  • Built 24 toilets in youth centres, sports grounds and playgrounds.
  • Constructed 10 water, sanitation and hygiene blocks (showers, toilets and water points) at border crossing areas.
  • Distributed hygiene materials to 96,000 people across the camp.
  • Design and preparation for construction of a piped water network to benefit all 90,000 people in Za'Atari
  • Solid waste management for up to 25,000 people
  • Hygiene promotion and community mobilisation for up to 25,000 people (36,000 during water network construction)

Oxfam's response in Syria

Oxfam has had an office inside Syria since July 2013, responding alongside other agencies to the urgent need for clean water. An estimated 35% of water treatment plants in Syria have been damaged during the conflict and there are concerns over water contamination.

Since January 2014, Oxfam has built and repaired water systems that serve almost one million people inside Syria. We have also undertaken water treatment activities, improved sewage systems, and worked on hygiene promotion in schools.

We have brought two water treatment plants back on-line using multiple truck-sized generators, capable of continuously pumping more than 700,000 extra litres of water per hour - enough to deliver safe water to around 500,000 people in Damascus city and the surrounding province (Rif Damascus). These generators are the first of 18 to be installed.

Our plans for 2015 include:

  • Drilling of 3 strategic wells to provide new water sources to Syrians
  • Emergency response through water trucking in different governorates
  • Sanitation and public health promotion
  • Hygiene promotion and supply of cleaning kits

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal 

Syria crisis: in pictures

Syria crisis videos

Oxfam's campaigning work

As the conflict has escalated in Syria, we have not only increased our humanitarian work across the region, we have also vigorously campaigned for:

  • The rights of all people affected by the crisis and to ensure that their voices are heard
  • The delivery of a strong humanitarian response in Syria and the wider region
  • Governments around the world to use their influence to find a political solution to the crisis.

We work with partners and with people affected to lobby governments, and to raise the profile of the crisis in the media and other avenues.

More details of our response are available in Syria Crisis: Emergency Response Update, March 2014 (499KB PDF).

Read more about the #WithSyria campaign.

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