The Syrian refugee crisis is escalating at a breathtaking pace. In early March the UN estimated that four million people in Syria were in urgent need of assistance; by late April, the number had shot up to 6.8 million.
And more than 7,000 people are fleeing to neighboring countries every day.
But aid providers are struggling to raise funds for this emergency, and there are serious obstacles to reaching people in need within Syria.
In a new report, “Overtaken by Need,” Oxfam lays out the latest facts and figures and warns of the consequences of neglecting this human-made disaster.
Numbers only hint at what’s happening on the ground, though, so our colleagues in the region have also sent us pictures of people they’ve met—a reminder that every one of the millions affected is a human being with a story.
Like Samira (see below), a widow and mother who fled with her family to Lebanon. “We decided to come to Lebanon because of the fighting that was taking place,” she said. “We couldn’t get any food anymore, we couldn’t live our lives, we lost our jobs, and we worried that we couldn’t stay alive.”
Now she is safe from the weapons of war, but not from the elements: her family spent the frigid winter in a homemade shelter built of cinder blocks, cardboard, and plastic sheeting. And day and night she keeps a vigil. “I just can’t stop thinking about how to feed my children and how to protect them.”