Ottawa, January 7, 2016 – As winter takes hold, conditions for those affected by the conflict in Syria continue to worsen. In the face of ongoing need, Oxfam welcomes today’s announcement to extend the Syrian Emergency Relief Match Fund to February 29, 2016. Global Affairs Canada will continue to match every eligible dollar, up to a total of $100 million, donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities in response to the conflict in Syria.
Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, said: “This announcement comes as millions displaced by the conflict in Syria are now facing the winter months. Canadians understand the difficulties of winter and already have demonstrated incredible generosity to the people of Syria. This extension reminds Canadians that there are still millions of people struggling to survive across Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, said: “The Government of Canada is proud to extend the Syria Emergency Release Fund until February 29 2016, to help refugees in Syria neighbouring countries. With the collaboration of international and Canadian humanitarian organizations we will help meet basic humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict in Syria, including shelter, food, health care, and access to water.”
As the conflict approaches its 5 year, more than 12.2 million people inside Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance such as water, food, shelter and medical attention. Women and girls are at an increased risk of violence, including sexual violence, and many children are not going to school. In neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon, the steady arrival of over 4 million refugees is putting extreme pressure on local infrastructure and economies and forcing many refugees to make a perilous and often deadly journey to Europe in search of a better life for themselves and their families.
Delahanty added: “By donating before February 29, Canadians can double the impact of their generosity and further help organizations like Oxfam support families across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Donations support water and sanitation services, and allow families to buy warm clothes for their children and to obtain fuel for the winter.”
“We thank the government of Canada for taking such an important leadership role on this crisis. We applaud Canadians for their ongoing generosity to this response - and in particular recognize the solidarity and support for Syrians that Oxfam Canada has received from the Canadian labour movement.”
For more information contact:
Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Notes to editors:
The Syria Emergency Relief Fund
The Government of Canada launched the Syria Emergency Relief Fund to support humanitarian relief efforts in response to the impact of the conflict in Syria.
For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities in response to the conflict in Syria, the government will set aside one dollar in the Syria Emergency Relief Fund. The government will use the fund to support experienced international and Canadian humanitarian organizations using established Global Affairs Canada channels and procedures. The total value of the Fund will be capped at $100 million.
Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Response
Oxfam is providing aid and long-term support to hundreds of thousands of people affected by the crisis and has reached over 1.6 million people across Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
- Oxfam’s operations inside Syria focus on the provision of clean water to conflict affected populations through the rehabilitation of water infrastructure, water trucking and repairing of wells. Oxfam completed a water treatment plant in Salamiyah City in Syria, providing water to 35,000 people where before piped water was only available once every ten days. We are now also carrying out health promotion and other activities. Oxfam plans to continue work across conflict lines and initiate more community engagement, more health promotion, and economic activities in addition to providing clean water.
- In Jordan and Lebanon, we have reached nearly half a million refugees with clean drinking water or cash and relief supplies, such as blankets and stoves and vouchers for hygiene supplies.
- Oxfam has built shower and toilet blocks in Zaatari refugee camp, informal settlements in Lebanon, on deserted routes used by people fleeing Syria and installed or repaired toilets in communities hosting refugees. Oxfam is also helping build piped water systems for Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp – the biggest ever built in a refugee camp - and in host communities in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
- In many refugee settlements and camps, we are also helping families get the information they need about their rights and connecting them to medical, legal and support services.