Brussels V Syria conference: Oxfam calls for the needs of the Syrian people to be put first

Brussels V Syria conference: Oxfam calls for the needs of the Syrian people to be put first

Oxfam media advisory

23 March 2021

Brussels V Syria conference: Oxfam calls for the needs of the Syrian people to be put first  

This Tuesday, 30 March, the international community will meet virtually for the Brussels V conference on Syria and the region to pledge funding and discuss the future of aid in the conflict-torn country.  

This month marks ten-years of the Syrian conflict. Although the fighting in Syria has decreased, Syrians are now struggling with a multifaceted crisis: repercussions of the prolonged conflict and coronavirus pandemic, deteriorating situation in neighbouring Lebanon, sanctions, a nosediving economy, and rising inflation. According to estimates: 

  • Over 80 percent of Syrians now live in poverty  
  • 1.1 million people need humanitarian aid to survive  
  • 12.4 million people now go to sleep hungry (almost 60 percent of the population) compared to 9.3 million people in early 2020  

Oxfam calls on the governments of Syria, host countries and donors in Brussels to put the needs of the Syrian people first. Access to both humanitarian aid, basic services and long-term development through employment and education is needed. Syrians must have the chance to stand on their own two feet.  

Yet, ongoing access restrictions in Syria, combined with limitations imposed by donor governments and the chilling effects of sanctions on the humanitarian response, make it extremely difficult for humanitarian organisations to provide the sustainable support that Syrians need. In Lebanon, humanitarian organisations also struggle to provide this support given the economic crisis and the security situation. Without investment into long-term development, Syrian's risk becoming dependent on aid.   

Oxfam is one of few organisations working inside the government-controlled regions in Syria to provide humanitarian assistance to people caught up in the conflict. Through working with partners, we have an extensive network to reach people in need in Syria and the regions. Oxfam and our partners will be speaking at the Day of Dialogue on 29 March 2021.  

Spokespeople in Brussels and the region are available for interviews, analysis and background information before, during and after the conference.  

Oxfam recently spoke to over 160 Syrian women to understand how their lives have changed since the start of the conflict. Overwhelmingly, their focus was solely on survival. Syrians must be able to dream for more. For now, as one woman replied “my hope is very simple. I don't want to deprive my children of their simplest wish. To go to bed with a full stomach”.

END

Contact

Caroline Reid | caroline.reid@oxfam.org | 087 912 3165

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