ECHO supports shelter needs of vulnerable Palestinian Iraqi refugees in Syria

29 April 2010

29 April 2010

Three childrenWith a generous donation of €1,000,000 the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) has allowed UNRWA to support some 2,300 Palestinian Iraqi refugees in Syria in coping with their prolonged and dire situation by helping cover the costs of housing.  

Palestinians living in Iraq fled due to severe persecution, and while Syria provides the safety they did not have in Iraq, they now face enormous economic and social hardship. 

UNRWA is providing assistance to Palestinian Iraqis as a temporary measure in as much as its funding allows, but it does not have the means to ensure an adequate living standard for this population. ECHO support helps UNRWA target and protect the most vulnerable of the Palestinian Iraqis, who are unable to return to Iraq or work in Syria. 

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, provides education, healthcare, social services, shelter, and micro-credit opportunities to a population of 470,000 Palestine refugees in Syria.

ECHO is the agency responsible for oversight and coordination of humanitarian aid operations for the European Union, and an important donor to UNRWA.  

For information only                Not an official record

For further information please contact:
Hala Mukhles
Office: 6133035 ext 314
Mobile: 0933416591


Since 1992, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has funded relief to millions of victims of both natural disasters and man-made crises outside the EU. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, religion and political beliefs. For the past 18 years, ECHO has supported UNRWA through a variety of programmes.

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106  million.

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