Aid agencies estimate that $8.7 billion is needed in 2015 to support 18 million people in Syria and neighbouring countries, the equivalent of approximately one US dollar per person per day. Based on the scale of wealthy country economies, Oxfam has determined an equitable share for each donor state. So far, for 2015, only the UK has pledged its ‘fair share’ ahead of the donor conference, and overall appeals are only 9.8% funded.
Ann Witteveen, Oxfam Canada's Humanitarian Manager, said: “Our leaders have been focused on the military mission in the region, debating what role Canada should play. The humanitarian crisis has not been given the vital importance needed in this debate. Ensuring that human needs are met should be the top priority for Canada and the international community”.
Pledges made at last year’s donor conference fell far short of needs. In 2014, a total of $7.7 billion was sought to help civilians devastated by the war and atrocities committed by all sides of the conflict. But only 62.5% of these funds was received by the end of the year.
‘Four years into the crisis, the humanitarian appeals are already stripped back to contain the bare minimum. With inadequate aid funds, more people in need will have to resort to desperate survival strategies such as child labour or early marriage,’ Andy Baker who leads Oxfam’s Syria crisis response said.
Oxfam has calculated that nearly half of the world’s top donors didn’t give their "fair share" of aid in 2014 – the level of funding each country makes available for the humanitarian response, relative to the size of their economy based on gross national income. They include Russia (7%), Australia (28%) and Japan (29%).
Germany, Norway, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland all pledged more than or close to their fair share of funds last year.
Recent months have brought fresh hardship for crisis-affected people as UN agencies have had to significantly reduce vital assistance, and neighbouring countries have tightened their borders, effectively trapping people inside Syria.
Beyond aid and resettlement, governments in Kuwait have the collective weight to insist on an end to the crisis and the horrific human rights violations which Syrian civilians face. Governments should call for a renewed political process, in line with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012, and all governments should halt supplies of arms and ammunition to Syria.
For interviews with Ann Witteveen, contact Melanie Gallant:
For interviews with Oxfam staff in Kuwait, Beirut or Amman (in English, Arabic, and French) contact Joelle Bassoul:
Notes to editors:
Download the report: Syria Crisis Fair Share Analysis 2015
Oxfam has developed two key indicators to help guide the level of commitment that each wealthy country should make in order to fairly alleviate the suffering of those affected by the Syria crisis:
1. The level of funding each country makes available for the humanitarian response, relative to the size of their economy (based on gross national income);
2. The number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries that each state has pledged to provide sanctuary through offers of resettlement or other forms of humanitarian protection, again based on the size of the pledging state’s economy. This does not include the numbers of people who have claimed and been granted asylum, as states have specific international legal obligations related to individuals who arrive on their territory seeking asylum.