Syria crisis: Oxfam's response
As the Syria crisis deepens, the humanitarian needs are escalating. Oxfam and partners are providing essential aid to people who have fled their homes to escape the violence.
Updated October 2013
More than two and a half years after the uprising of 2011, armed conflict still rages in Syria, and the numbers of those severely affected are boggling. Inside Syria, nearly seven million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and two million have taken refuge in neighboring Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thousands are still flowing across the borders each day; more than half of them are children.
Oxfam is currently helping provide aid to more than 220,000 civilians in need in Jordan and Lebanon, and is aiming to reach 650,000 by March 2014. We are also advocating for a peaceful political solution to this crisis.
In Lebanon, Oxfam and our partners helped thousands of refugees cope with the cold winter temperatures earlier this year by distributing warm clothes, mattresses, blankets, heaters, and rugs, as well as plastic sheeting to weatherproof their shelters. We are now providing vulnerable families with cash to help them afford safe housing and vouchers with which to buy hygiene materials; we are also working to improve the water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions for refugees in various locations across the country. And an Oxfam partner has begun providing psycho-social support to women refugees and their children.
In the Zaatari camp in Jordan, whose population has swelled to more than 120,000, we have provided emergency latrines for 20,000 people, and we have now completed more permanent blocks of sanitation facilities (toilets, laundry areas, and showers) for 8,000. We have encouraged children to decorate the blocks with hand-painted tiles. Our work on sanitation takes into account the needs of people with limited mobility: we are installing showers and toilets that accommodate wheelchairs, and distributing commodes that can be used in the home. Oxfam's hygiene-education program is aimed at helping people stay safe under challenging camp conditions. We are also working with refugees who are living outside the camp. The most critical need is to prevent families from getting evicted from their rooms and shelters, so we are providing cash assistance via ATM cards to many of the most vulnerable. We are also distributing water filters and hygiene materials to people living outside the camp.
Oxfam is increasingly concerned about the water and sanitation situation Syria, where infrastructure has been badly damaged by the conflict. Oxfam's technical team inside Syria is focused on improving access to clean water, with the goal of assisting 300,000 people by early 2014.
Below are a few of the places in Jordan and Lebanon where Oxfam and partners are responding to the refugee crisis. The pins on the map indicate the general areas where Oxfam is working with refugee populations; for security reasons, we have withheld exact names and locations.
Lebanon and Jordan
Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan
View the full map.