Book World raises £1M for Syrian refugee crisis

In September 2015 Penguin Random House donated 14,000 books to support Waterstones’ ‘Buy Books for Syria‘ campaign. The campaign sold a range of titles in stores across the UK which were stickered with ‘Buy Books for Syria’, with all proceeds going to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

Today the campaign has hit its target of raising £1 million. On the eve of a major conference on Syria in London, participating authors have taken the opportunity to call on wealthy governments to ramp up their aid response and to resettle more refugees.

Caitlin Moran said: ‘It’s shameful – as we approach the fifth anniversary of the war on Syria – that rich countries have given barely half the aid money needed to help. I’m proud to have joined the literary world in raising money for Oxfam’s work there – but it’s increasingly clear that this is a growing disaster that needs international action in forming a proper, legal and humanitarian plan to find the refugees permanent places of safety, and that it is in the interests of the whole world to act with decency, rigour, imagination and speed, before an already awful humanitarian crisis destabilises entire regions, and threatens the entire notion of peaceful coexistence.”

Mark Haddon said: “What a fantastic achievement this campaign is. Waterstones getting together with authors, publishers and readers to raise money to help the people of Syria, both those inside the country and those who have had to flee.

“It is up to wealthy governments to do their bit and give their fair share of support. More money, and a warmer welcome to refugees, will go a long way to helping Syrians across Europe. I’ve been to Jordan with Oxfam and seen the work they’re doing and all I can say is that it’s essential, it’s efficient and it’s working. By buying books for Syria and hitting our £1m target, we can now do so much more.”

James Daunt, Waterstones’ Managing Director, said: “Waterstones booksellers are immensely proud to have contributed so meaningfully to Oxfam’s work with Syrian refugees, something made possible by the instinctive generosity of so many wonderful authors and their publishers, and above all that of our customers.”

Mark Goldring, CEO, Oxfam said: “Thanks to all those involved in Buy Books for Syria for making a difference to the people of Syria. The £1m raised will have a huge impact on Oxfam’s continuing work to help the Syrian people. It will help to provide clean water for hundreds of thousands inside the country, as well as support the many refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Europe who have been forced to flee their homes.”

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