Politics of Poverty

Oxfam staying tuned to Syrian refugee crisis

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Military intervention likely to damage prospects for peace and create more suffering.

Here I talk with people at a center run by Oxfam partner organization, Popular Aid for Relief Development, at Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. Hiba (left) and her family fled their home in Daraa, Syria four months ago due to the ongoing conflict. The already crowded Shatila camp and neighboring Sabra area are home to an increasing population of refugees, both Syrian and Palestinian, who have fled the conflict in Syria. Photo: Sam Tarling / Oxfam America.

Having just returned from Jordan and Lebanon last week, the human cost of the conflict weighs heavily on me, and on all of us here at Oxfam. In light of President Obama’s address to the nation Tuesday, I offered this statement:

“Oxfam supports President Obama’s preference for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.  We welcome recent efforts by the US and other governments to peacefully eliminate the use of devastating chemical weapons in Syria which is an abhorrent violation of international human rights.  All political and diplomatic solutions must be pursued vigorously.

“We have serious concerns that the use of military intervention will damage the prospects for peace and threatens to further destabilize the region. For the Syrian people to be protected from all forms of violence, including the indiscriminate killing of civilians by conventional weapons, the international community must stop at nothing to find political solutions to end the conflict once and for all. With tens of thousands of Syrian lives already lost and millions more displaced inside Syria and throughout the region, the Syrian people cannot afford to lose another day to political wrangling– further delays will only result in more death, displacement, and suffering.”

And yesterday I wrote an op-ed entitled, “Syrian crisis pushes region to breaking point,” for Devex. Learn more about what Oxfam is doing and ways you can help.

At an informal refugee community in Kfar Kahel, Lebanon, where some 48 Syrian refugee families live here in very basic conditions. Through our partner organization, JAK, Oxfam has helped install a number of latrines. Photo: Sam Tarling / Oxfam America.
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