Stand As One

Over the last year Oxfam has provided humanitarian aid to almost nine million people – the biggest humanitarian response in our 74 year history. These nine million people – women, men and children – have been forced to flee their homes because of violence or disaster.

Shockingly, the number of refugees and people displaced within their own countries across the world is now at its highest level since the Second World War. The conflict in Syria has been a major factor, but people are also fleeing violence in South Sudan, Nigeria, Burundi, Iraq and Yemen, amongst others.

This is why we are launching a campaign, Stand As One, calling on everyone to stand with and support families who are forced to flee their homes and often families. We are also calling on world leaders to agree to a global response to the refugee crisis which helps and protects families who are forced to flee. It is hard for us to imagine how desperate a situation would have to be to consider such a drastic action as fleeing your home to face an uncertain future, it is harder still to
imagine the prospect that you might not see your loved ones again. Although we cannot quite imagine it, we can show our leaders that we want to help make the experience a little less traumatic, to remove barriers and extend a warm welcome.

If you want to see the UK Government play its part by changing the rules to keep refugee families together, changing the rules so people can travel together safely to claim asylum, welcoming more people who have lost everything into the UK, and doing more to help the developing countries that are sheltering the majority of the world’s refugees.

It is within our gift in Wales to welcome more of the world’s move vulnerable people. We can do more. Families who have no choice to flee because their homes have been destroyed and their lives torn apart deserve a welcome in Wales. Last Autumn all 22 Welsh local authorities pledged to play their part in the global response to the refugee crisis by welcoming and resettling families. Yet eight months on, only five authorities have done so and provided shelter to just 78 people.

If you want to see your Local Authority make a difference, write to your council leader and let them know you want to see your community welcoming more refugees. Write to your local Assembly Member. Write to the First Minister.

Why not write a letter of welcome to a newly-arrived family of refugees to let them know they are safe and welcome here? You can post one in your local Oxfam shop or email it to

Often when we face such massive crises we feel helpless and overwhelmed, but together there is a lot we can do to help. Here in Wales we can make sure that all the Local Authorities deliver on their promises, and we can ensure that refugees arriving here feel safe and welcomed. Let’s work together to make Wales a Nation of Sanctuary. Let’s Stand as One.