Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

Al-Neirabein School, Mazzeh, Damascus, Syria, July 2016. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad
On a hot July morning, Mohammad-Raddi Henawi stands at the whiteboard at the front of the classroom of Al-Neirabeen School, working on a math equation. He is one of the thousands of displaced Palestine refugee children attending the UNRWA summer learning programme that prepares students to resume their schooling in the fall. Mohammad-Raddi’s family fled Yarmouk when violence intensified in December 2012. “We suffered a lot. The sounds of the explosions, shelling and heavy shooting at night were terrifying. The airstrikes frightened me. I spent my time hiding in the house afraid we were going...
2016 EU-UNRWA Photo Competition for Palestine Refugee Youth
This year, break down the stereotypes and show the world what it truly means to be a Palestine refugee.
Vocational Training, Homs. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad
To mitigate the impact of the Syria war on youth’s well-being and opportunities, UNRWA partners with the European Union to ensure that they have access to counselling, integrated education, recreational activities, career guidance and the chance to improve their skills through its Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programme
Al-Neirabein School, Mazzeh, Damascus, Syria. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad
Giving children access inclusive quality education provides them with the opportunity to change their lives for the better. Educate A Child (EAC) is a worldwide initiative launched by Qatar’s Education Above All Foundation that aims to reduce the number of children denied their right to education. Since 2013, UNRWA and EAC have been working in partnership to ensure quality education for all Palestine refugee students affected by the conflict in Syria through its Education in Emergencies programme. With a generous EAC contribution of US$ 4.9 million, the Agency has worked hard to reach...
Yalda Distribution Point, Yalda, Southern Damascus, Syria, February 2016. © 2016 UNRWA Photo
The United States is contributing US$ 25 million to UNRWA in response to the Agency’s 2016 Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal. The funds will support emergency operations in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan

Palestine refugees from Syria have been severely affected by the ongoing armed conflict. Of the total 560,000 Palestine refugees from Syria, almost all require assistance. Click here to read more.



#Syria5Years. © UNRWA Photo
© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammed
Engaging with the youth of Syria
#MyVoiceMySchool. © UNRWA Photo


Latest News

The Syria Crisis

The conflict in Syria intensified in 2015, leading to heightened humanitarian and protection needs among an increasingly vulnerable population. Affected communities continue to suffer serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law as a result of indiscriminate and widespread attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. Increasing numbers of people have been forced to flee to other locations inside Syria, neighbouring countries or further afield. The Syrian economy remains in deep crisis, as a result of the repeated destruction of its infrastructure, institutions, and physical and human capital. The situation has been exacerbated by sharp price rises, escalating inflation and extremely high unemployment, with coping mechanisms stretched to the limit. 

Palestine refugees remain particularly vulnerable and have been disproportionately affected by the conflict, due to their proximity to conflict areas inside Syria, high rates of poverty and the tenuous legal status of those forced to flee to Lebanon and Jordan. An estimated 450,000 of the 560,000 refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria remain inside the country; over two thirds (280,000 people) are internally displaced and an estimated 95 per cent (430,000) are in need of sustained humanitarian assistance. This includes tens of thousands of Palestinians who are trapped in areas of active conflict, such as Yarmouk or Khan Eshieh in Damascus or Muzeirib and Jillin in Dera’a, with extremely constrained access to humanitarian assistance. 

Of those who have been forced again into exile, around 42,000 have fled to Lebanon and more than 17,000 to Jordan. The vast majority are living a precarious, marginalized existence, unable to regularize their legal status or access civil registration procedures and basic social services. They are largely dependent on UNRWA for basic subsistence needs, including food and shelter, as well as basic education and health care.

Due to the deterioration of conditions inside Syria and the protracted displacement of Palestine refugees to Lebanon and Jordan, the critical lifeline provided by UNRWA is required more than ever. In 2016, UNRWA needs US$ 414 million to meet the minimum humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in the region.

Read more in the 2016 Syria emergency appeal.

Facts and Figures


The majority of the 450,000 Palestine refugees remaining in Syria are internally displaced and remain in continuous need of humanitarian aid. Up to 280,000 are currently displaced inside Syria, with a further 110,000 displaced to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and increasingly, to Europe. The escalating violence makes movement and access more difficult and causes severe hardship. Jordan effectively closed its borders to Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) early in the conflict; Lebanon followed suit in May 2015.

There are 42,000 PRS in Lebanon. 

There are 17,000 PRS in Jordan. 

Gap 61.35
Coverage 38.65

Funding Requirements

Palestine refugees have been among the worst affected by the bloodshed and destruction wrought by the conflict in Syria. The majority of the estimated 450,000 Palestine refugees remaining in Syria are displaced and 95 percent rely on UNRWA for assistance.

The Agency’s pre-existing structures, supply chains and workforce have enabled an effective response to the crisis, including to the tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan.

In 2016, UNRWA needs US$ 414 million to meet the minimum humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in the region.

Read the full 2016 Syria emergency appeal

Total Appeal$414,000,000
Received to Date$160,000,000

With thanks to our donors

We at UNRWA would like to thank all of our donors for their commitment and support to Palestine refugees from Syria caught in the devastating conflict. This assistance has been the lifeline to Palestine refugee families and communities in peril.

As the brutality and complexity of the conflict grow, so do the humanitarian consequences. The Agency’s unique operational depth and breadth in the region provide a critical framework of stability for Palestine refugees affected by the conflict. UNRWA schools, clinics and cash assistance have been instrumental in maintaining a level of resilience despite extreme suffering. However, at 51.2 per cent funding, we are unable to sustain this response.

We will need US$ 414 million in 2016 to meet the bare minimum needs of Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Palestine refugees count on all of us to stand by them until a just and lasting solution can be found to their plight. Your firm support is ever more critical and appreciated as 2016 looms dark in Syria with greater challenges and hardship.

Read More

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