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Donate to the Syria crisis

Years of brutal fighting have devastated Syria, a country that was a thriving, middle-income country before the start of the conflict in 2011.

More than 300,000 people have been killed, 13.5 million people are in need of assistance and 5 million refugees have fled Syria.

Oxfam has reached over 1.5 million people already with desperately needed water. But the scale of this emergency is huge and we still urgently need your help.

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal 

Last updated: 02/07/18


Omar and his 2-year-old son. Who left their native city of Hassaka, Syria, where they could no longer live because of the war.

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What Oxfam is doing to help Syrian refugees

The situation

  • According to the UN, more than 300,000 people have been killed since the crisis began in March 2011, with the likely total far higher. 
  • Half of Syria's population of 22 million have been forced to flee their homes.
  • 13.5 million people inside Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, of which 6.3 million have had to leave their homes.
  • 5 million people have fled the country, with the majority seeking refuge in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, where a quarter of the population are now Syrian refugees.
  • 86% of refugees outside camps in Jordan and 70% of refugees in Lebanon live below the poverty line.
  • Syrian refugees account for the majority of the more than one million people who've fled to Europe since the start of 2015.

Oxfam is helping more than 1.5 million people: refugees in Syria, as well as in Lebanon and Jordan.

Syria Crisis Appeal videos

Photo credit: Caroline Gluck

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.

In 2015, Oxfam reached more than 46,000 people (70% Syrian refugees and 30% Jordanians) in Jordan and over 85,000 people in Lebanon with clean drinking water or cash and relief supplies. We are also helping families get the information they need about their rights, connecting them to services such as legal aid, as well as working on sanitation.  Piped water schemes are being developed for Jordan's Zaatari camp and Zarqa Governorate, as well as in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.  In both countries, Oxfam is planning on supporting refugees and vulnerable families from local communities.

Oxfam's response in Lebanon

The impact of the wider Syria crisis in Lebanon has been massive - a 30% population increase means every area of life is under pressure, with schools, hospitals, housing and businesses all struggling to cope. We work both directly with refugees themselves, and with communities hosting refugees to address common challenges such as water and jobs. We also help those in need have access to clear information about their rights and how to access assistance and services, as well as water and sanitation work.

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

Oxfam is working in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan's fourth largest 'city', to address water needs among other things. We currently help nearly 25,000 camp residents, and are working with partners on constructing a water network throughout the camp that will address the needs of all 80,000 people who live there.

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 Za'atari refugee camp, Oxfam has completed construction of the first phase of the water network. Managing waste water is also crucial, and a waste water network has also been completed: 489 households now have septic tanks installed and connected, with 243 private household toilets constructed for the most vulnerable households.

In host communities Oxfam is still providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable refugees and Jordanians, and at the same time working on more long term development issues such as water governance, economic opportunities and gender equality. During the last year Oxfam has provided humanitarian assistance to 5,913 families, who have received support in terms of winterization kits that allow vulnerable families to protect themselves from the harsh winters, protection services, cash assistance, and the rehabilitation of household water and sanitation facilities.

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.

We are working primarily to make sure people have enough clean water, and are able to keep themselves clean and healthy. The Suleiman Al-Halabi water pumping station is the main water source for Aleppo city, and we are committed to keeping the generator, which we previously installed, operational. Water pumped from here reaches people across conflict lines. We are currently installing a second huge generator in Aleppo to increase the capacity of water delivered to the population of perhaps 1.5 million people.

In Hama, the equipping of the Lwebde pumping station has been completed, facilitating the supply of clean water to 133,000 conflict affected people. The security situation continues to make operations very challenging.

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal 

Other ways to help