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 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.

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