A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Friday 15 March was the two year anniversary since the start of the current crisis in Syria. Over one million people have fled the country so far, and more than 70,000 have been killed.
To mark this anniversary, candlelit vigils took place around the globe in solidarity with the Syrian people. Oxfam supported vigils across the Middle East. Hundreds of people gathered in cities around the Arab world to light candles and shine a spotlight on the continued suffering of Syria’s people.
The refugees are in desperate need of food, water and shelter. Oxfam is providing water and sanitation to some of the worst affected in Lebanon and Jordan, and distributing kits that include bedding, clothing and hygiene supplies.
These photographs are from the vigils supported by Oxfam in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
In Cairo, Egyptians gathered to light candles in Mostafa Mahmoud Square to demand world leaders act immediately to bring about a peaceful resolution. The vigil was organized by Gasad Wahed (One Body). Photos: Ihab El-Sakkout
Jordan (Al Mafraq)
In Mafraq City in Northern Jordan children lit candles to show their solidarity with the people of Syria. Since the conflict began, 2 million children have been affected by the crisis. The vigil was hosted by the Jordan based human rights organization ARDD-Legal Aid. The conflict in Syria has created a massive influx of refugees into Jordan. Oxfam is responding to urgent needs in nearby Zaatari refugee camp, which houses more than 90,000 refugees. Photo: Caroline Gluck
Oxfam’s partner, Abaad, which campaigns on violence against women, organized a vigil in Lebanon to remember the lives lost in Syria’s conflict. Since the conflict began, thousands of people have sought refuge in Lebanon. Photos: Salam Kabboul
Occupied Palestinian Territory (Gaza)
In Gaza, Oxfam staff lit candles to remember the lives lost in Syria and show that they refuse to stay silent in the face of such suffering. Photo : Ghada Snunu
Oxfam's response to the Syria refugee crisis