Oxfam Trying To Help Syrian Refugees Deal With Bitterly Cold Winter

With temperatures plunging across the Middle East, Oxfam is offering support to Syrian refugees who have fled the violence helping them to survive the bitter cold.

The escalation in fighting in Syria has resulted in an increasing number of refugees fleeing and arriving in Lebanon. Oxfam says that nearly 1200 refugees fled to Lebanon from late November.

Helen Szoke chief executive of Oxfam Australia says that compared to last winter, there had been a fourfold increase in the number of people fleeing Syria into neighboring countries.

The refugee population in Lebanon has exploded from 100,000 last year to approximately 1 million people this year.

Dr. Szoke said many refugees are living in regions where there is lots of rain and snow and where temperatures are bitterly cold. The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan is over 550,000 with 80 per cent of that population living in inadequate housing such as makeshift tents.

Oxfam is offering support to over 23,00 Syrian refugees, providing access to fuel and cooking stoves as well as blankets and heating to combat against some of the worst wintery conditions seen in years.

Oxfam is supporting more than 23,000 refugees from Syria access fuel and stoves for cooking and heating, and blankets to combat some of the worst winter conditions in years.

“The world mustn’t forget these highly vulnerable people, life is becoming even harder for refugees as winter starts to bite. Temperatures will continue to drop over the coming weeks and inevitably that will start to take its toll on people’s health. Children are particularly vulnerable. Many are sleeping on the cold ground wearing cotton shirts and a simple cough can quickly escalate into something much more serious.” Dr. Szoke said.

She added that poor sanitation has meant that some of the tent settlements are at risk of being flooded by sewage which will obviously increase the risk of disease. The scale of the crisis is massive and needs to be resolved politically both inside Syria and outside the country.

Dr. Szoke says these families are in need of immediate assistance with temperatures in Jordan and Lebanon plunging and the worst of the winter still to follow.

Dr. Szoke says these families are in need of immediate assistance with temperatures in Jordan and Lebanon plunging and the worst of the winter still to follow.

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