Oviedo Support for Syria Health Kits

08 April 2014

East Jerusalem

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is grateful to the Oviedo Local Council for its support to the Agency’s Syria Regional Crisis Response Plan. Its donation of EUR 12,000 (US$ 16,600) will enable UNRWA to purchase approximately 407 hygiene kits for vulnerable, displaced families.

The ongoing conflict in Syria is one of the most difficult challenges the Agency has faced in over six decades of assistance to Palestine refugees. Of the 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria, a vulnerable population to begin with, almost all are in need of assistance. Some 270,000 – half the total – are displaced within Syria, while tens of thousands of others have fled to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan.

 Displacement frequently deprives families of the basic necessities and forces them to shelter in overcrowded facilities. The hygiene kits supported by the contribution from Oviedo include soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and laundry detergent, among other non-food items, helping displaced refugees protect their health and well-being. 

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

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

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724