The UNRWA Relief and Social Services (RSS) programme in Jordan addresses some of the most pressing socioeconomic needs of the Palestine refugee community. It promotes community-based action that enables particularly vulnerable Palestine refugees to become more self-reliant. The programme is committed to developing the institutional capacity of 24 community-based organizations (CBOs) that are managed by Local Administrative Committees (LACs). RSS has three main divisions:
RSS works to alleviate poverty among Palestine refugee families, with priority given to the abject poor, or the poorest of the poor. Our programme provides social safety-net (SSN) assistance, which includes basic food support and cash subsidies to this group of Palestine refugees; with an annual per capita value of around US $120, this is distributed on a quarterly basis.
Our staff, which includes many social workers, collaborates with administrators throughout the field and the Agency to conduct desk studies and field visits to register SSN applicants. With funding from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), we also distribute cash subsidies to over two dozen Palestine refugees from Iraq, who were displaced in 2003.
We also provide selective cash assistance in the form of one-time cash grants for basic household needs or in family emergencies. In coordination with the UNRWA Infrastructure and Camp Improvement programme, we also work on shelter rehabilitation.
The 14 Women's Programme Centres (WPCs) distributed among all camps provide several services that aim at facilitating the active involvement of Palestine refugee women in remunerative economic activity. The women-in-development programme enhances their social development and promotes their role in their families and communities. Moreover, WPCs adopt youth activities such as youth-led initiatives and capacity building programmes. In addition, services extend to include free legal consultancy provided to women through four associated Legal Advice Bureaus. During 2012, a total of 21,641 Palestine refugee women, along with 7,251 children and youth, benefited from WPC services.
The ten Community-Based Rehabilitation Centres (CBRCs) adopt the World Health Organization approach, which engages all stakeholders in the community in the rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities and social inclusion of refugees with disabilities. CBRCs are committed to raising awareness on the rights of people with disabilities, providing assistive devices and referral service and assisting disabled adults in securing appropriate technical training and employment. In 2012, CBRCs provided 43,574 services to 11,277 Palestine refugees with disabilities.
The Community Managed Fund (CMF) scheme is one of the services provided under the MCSP. The programme aims to increase credit opportunities for disadvantaged Palestine refugees. Moreover, it enhances women’s economic empowerment by facilitating their access to credit, along with providing them with financial education to manage their loans.
One of our priorities is maintaining and updating Palestine refugee records through our programme for eligibility and registration. We use an up-to-date, web-based system – the integrated Refugee Registration Information System (RRIS) – to determine eligibility for UNRWA services. This statistical data, when properly collected and analysed, is a crucial part of our planning, which will enable us to better prepare and deliver services.
Since 2011, the continuing political upheaval in Syria has driven many Palestine refugees from that country (PRS) to flee to Jordan. This has dramatically increased the demand on UNRWA services, requiring additional financial and human resources. Our team works hard to ensure that this group of Palestine refugees receive the services and assistance they need.