By now, many of you will have heard about the staggering increase in the number of Syrian refugees, which is dominating today’s news. This morning, the UN announced that the number of people who have fled the conflict in Syria now stands at 1 million. If you can, please help Syrian families by donating to the Syria Crisis Appeal.
Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has warned that ‘Syria is spiralling towards’ full-scale disaster’.
A series of aerial images of Zaatari camp in Jordan, published on the Washington Post, goes some way to helping us understand the pace at which neighbouring countries have had to cope with new arrivals.
In just six months, the number of Syrian refugees registered with the UN has increased from 120,000 to today’s figure of 1 million. Jordan and Lebanon have had the greatest influx of refugees and Oxfam is working in both countries to support people who have had to leave their homes in search of safety.
It’s a reality that’s unimaginable to the majority of us in the UK. Feeling safe is something most of us are able to take for granted. Samira, who arrived in Lebanon in January, explains why staying in Syria was no longer an option for her and her family:
‘The shelling and the shooting were happening whilst we were trying to live peacefully in our homes. I have no idea what happened to it. We just had to leave it behind and escape the fighting…we worried that we couldn’t stay alive.’
Oxfam’s work in Lebanon and Jordan is focusing on providing water, sanitation and hygiene training. We’re also continuing to distribute kits that include bedding, clothing and hygiene supplies.