Oxfam Ireland provides additional funding for new humanitarian crisis in Syria

Oxfam Ireland provides additional funding for new humanitarian crisis in Syria

 

Oxfam has announced additional funding for the unfolding and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and called for urgent international action to prevent the situation deteriorating further following Turkey’s intervention.

Oxfam Ireland’s Humanitarian Manager Colm Byrne, recently returned from Syria, said:

This latest violence serves as a reminder to the international community that the crisis in Syria, now in its 9th year, never went away. This was already an unprecedented human tragedy unfolding on an unimaginable scale – nearly 12 million people are still in need of humanitarian aid."

The news reports of civilians being killed and injured, homes being destroyed and communities having to flee for their lives at such short notice, is truly disturbing and distressing. To see the stories of tens of thousands of people being displaced in the space of two days is shocking. These are numbers we have become numb to, complacent of, in a conflict which amidst world events, increasingly lacks the attention of the international community that it deserves.

Many will have left their homes in such a panic, with only what they could grab and the clothes on their backs. We are now committing an extra €50,000 to support those caught up in conflict in Syria.

Armed conflict in almost every context has implications for the capacity of humanitarian agencies to reach those most in need. Throughout Syria, those forced to flee the ongoing conflict already face another approaching winter of dreadful conditions. Many have little means to face the harsh weather. They urgently need food, water, clothing, warm blankets, stoves, and fuel.

Byrne added that all sides in the conflict must ensure that their military operations do not intentionally target civilians or civilian infrastructure, and civilians should be provided with the right to free movement. “Governments must adhere to international humanitarian law and allow full access to aid. Any refugee returns from Turkey that may follow must be safe, dignified, and voluntary.”

The scale of the required response means that world leaders urgently need to do more to help. The humanitarian response in Syria remains significantly underfunded; as of July 2019, the UN’s response plan for the year was less than a quarter (23.5%) funded, with over $2.5bn of aid, required to meet humanitarian needs identified across Syria.

Over 300,000 people have lost their lives as a result of the conflict in Syria, with hundreds of thousands more seriously injured. The conflict is driving the largest displacement crisis in the world. 6.2 million people have had to flee their homes within Syria – many several times.

According to the UN, 6.5 million people are facing acute food insecurity, and over one-third of the population relies on unsafe water supply. Seven-in-ten people are living in extreme poverty.

In 2018/19, Oxfam in Syria helped over 1.2 million people with aid including clean water, cash, essential clothing items, and support to help make a living and grow nutritious food. In Lebanon and Jordan, Oxfam has to date helped some 300,000 people affected by the Syria crisis.

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Oxfam has spokespeople available for interview. For more information please contact: Phillip Graham on 00 44 (0) 7841 102535 / phillip.graham@oxfam.org

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