Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis



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300,000 UNRWA children start school in conflict-ravaged Gaza and Syria
Nearly 300,000 children went back to UNRWA schools at the start of the school year in Gaza and Syria today. “In Gaza, conflict has profoundly affected the traditional learning environment and delayed the academic year for almost three weeks,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. "But after the traumatic 50 days of brutal conflict, of death, destruction and massive displacement, including to many of our schools, we are determined to give the children a sense of renewed hope and better prospects by opening the schools so soon again."
Taghrid Mohammad/UNRWA Archives
Few groups are as vulnerable, as full of potential or as in need of support as the Palestine refugee children of Syria. Of the 460,000 Palestine refugees currently in Syria, more than a third (about 184,000) are children. Education has provided hope for successive generations of Palestine refugees, which makes it all the more critical for UNRWA to ensure education continues in the midst of the ongoing crisis. UNRWA taught 39,600 Palestine refugee students throughout Syria in the first half of 2014, adjusting its education programme due to the conflict. To make up for the loss of schools that were either destroyed or converted to shelters for displaced people, UNRWA ran double shifts in its 42 operational school buildings and held classes in 43 government schools during the afternoon, after the government classes had finished for the day. UNRWA also set up teaching points with volunteers, and negotiated to help students in besieged areas take their national exams. UNRWA provided food, small cash stipends and accommodation to about 120 grade nine students who were able to exit the besieged Yarmouk Camp for the duration of their exams. Grade nine exams are an important milestone that...
Syria Regional Crisis Response 78
More than half a million Palestine refugees are directly affected by the conflict in Syria. The UNRWA response aims to preserve refugees' resilience through the continuation of UNRWA services plus humanitarian relief. For a more detailed overview, see the Agency's 2014 Syria regional crisis response here. This biweekly update covers UNRWA efforts from 6 to 31 August.
On World Humanitarian Day, UNRWA Honours its Courageous Staff Members in Syria
Over 3,500 UNRWA staff currently work in Syria, serving Palestine refugees in a situation of intense and ongoing armed conflict. On World Humanitarian Day, UNRWA wishes to recognise the heroism of these colleagues and to honour those twelve that have lost their lives as a result of the conflict. UNRWA’s Yarmouk team is just one example among many of the courage and professionalism demonstrated by UNRWA staff in Syria. They are humanitarian heroes in the most literal sense. Every day, these women and men cross into an active battleground, facing shelling, armed clashes and sniper fire to deliver life-saving assistance to 18,000 trapped civilians. They comprise logisticians, labourers, doctors, nurses, security officers and mission leaders, all serving the people of Yarmouk with the highest standards of professionalism and courage. Many are former residents of Yarmouk themselves, working within sight of their own shattered homes. Since first reaching the besieged area in January 2014 and following 12 months without access, this closely-knit team has successfully responded to widespread and acute malnutrition, typhoid outbreaks and civilian casualties, all while gunfire regularly...
Midyear Review of the 2014 Syria Regional Crisis Response

Midyear Review of the 2014 Syria Regional Crisis Response

UNRWA works to preserve refugee resilience through humanitarian relief

Palestine refugees from Syria have been severely affected by the ongoing armed conflict, with virtually all of their residential areas experiencing armed engagements or the use of heavy weapons. Of the total 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria, almost all require assistance. Click Here to read more.

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The Syria Crisis and Palestine refugees

Three years of persistent conflict and deteriorating economic conditions in Syria have challenged the resilience of Palestine refugees and Syrians alike. Proportionately, displacement among Palestinians – conservatively estimated to be somewhere over 50 per cent – is significantly higher than the proportion of Syrians displaced by the conflict.

The vast majority of the population of approximately 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria is now unable to meet its daily needs. A September 2013 needs assessment found that the most vulnerable – female headed households, the elderly living alone, people with disabilities and young children – make up about 30 per cent of the total population of Palestine refugees in Syria.

All nine Palestine refugee camps are affected by the conflict. This has caused not only extreme hardship and widespread displacement but also an unravelling of their social structure and support networks in Syria. Palestine refugees’ coping mechanisms are stretched by unemployment, inflation and lack of access to goods and services. This compounding poverty exposes them to new vulnerabilities. 

Read more on the Syria Crisis Response Appeal 2013-2014: Click here to read more.

Read more on the Syria Crisis Response Mid-Year review 2014: Click here to read more.

Facts and Figures

539,000 PRS will receive cash assistance in 2014


In the first half of 2014, UNRWA provided 446,876 Palestine refugees in Syria with cash assistance. UNRWA is currently distributing a second round of assistance.


UNRWA provides assistance through its Cash Transfer Programme (CTP). Since September 2013, the agency credits ATM cards issued to PRS and newcomers on a rolling basis. Since February 2014, assistance is provided on a monthly basis and goes to food and housing cost.


Livelihood opportunities are severely restricted and Palestine refugees from Syria cite UNRWA cash assistance as the only source of income. In August, UNRWA began distributing a third round of cash for food and non-food items to cover needs from the first half of the year. The delay was caused by lack of funding at the beginning of the year. 

For more information, please read the Socioeconomic and Damage Assessment Report.



Funding Requirements

The total pledged amount against the 2014 Response Plan stands at $109.2 million, including $33.7 million pledged in 2013 for implementation in 2014. This amount is equivalent to 26 per cent of the total budget of the 2014 Syria regional crisis response required for January-December 2014 ($417 million). 

Of the total response plan, 74 per cent is budgeted for implementation in Syria, 22 per cent in Lebanon, 3.5 per cent in Jordan and 0.5 per cent for regional coordination.

Click here for more information

Total Appeal$417,400,000
Received to Date$202,600,000
51.46% Gap