Syria Crisis

Syria crisis

Young boy in Qabr Essit camp, December 2014. © UNRWA/Taghrid Mohammad
The 2015 UNRWA appeal for the Syria regional crisis, outlines the need for US$ 415.4 million to meet the minimum needs of Palestine refugees suffering profound hardship as a result of the conflict in Syria.
A student voice project that gives young people a say in their education and future.

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

Latest News

The Syria Crisis

UNRWA more than ever is a critical life-line for Palestine refugees. By adaptation and innovation, the Agency has maintained the capacity to provide services and assistance to all Palestine refugees in Syria and those displaced to Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza.

The conflict in Syria is complex and deadly. All 12 Palestine refugee camps and all 560,000 registered Palestine refugees in the country have been affected. UNRWA estimates that 95 per cent of the 480,000 Palestine refugees remaining in Syria are in continuous need of humanitarian aid. One third of UNRWA facilities in Syria have been rendered inoperable due to damage or active conflict. Therefore, UNRWA has had to adapt as the conflict permits. It has innovated and found solutions to allow it to continue to fulfill its mandate to assist Palestine refugees.

However, the escalating violence makes movement and access more difficult and causes severe hardship for Palestine refugees. The particular vulnerabilities of Palestine refugees and their sensitive status in the region compound the already stark and violent devastation they share with Syrians. Jordan effectively closed its borders to Palestinian refugees from Syria early in the conflict; Lebanon followed suit in May this year. When they do find relief from the conflict, they suffer marginalization and acute vulnerability. In Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, many Palestine refugees from Syria do not have legal status and are unable to access civil registration procedures and basic social services. Their movement is limited and they live in constant fear of arrest and forced return to Syria.

The overall needs of Palestine refugees are urgent. Supporting them with advocacy and financial means is an imperative of regional humanitarian, political and strategic importance.

Read more in the Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal for 2015 and the Syria Crisis Response Mid-Year Review 2014.

Read more about the latest development in the Syria Regional Crisis Response Update

Syria emergency appeal 2015 © UNRWA

Facts and Figures

460,000 Palestine refugees receive cash assistance in Syria

The economic loss since the start of the conflict is estimated at US$ 143.8 billion, or 276 per cent of the 2010 GDP. Unemployment in Syria is estimated at 54.3 per cent and the consumer price index has increased by 179 per cent. In 2015, cash assistance is the most critical UNRWA emergency support for Palestine refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Cash assistances offers them the flexibility to respond to their needs, while reducing UNRWA administrative and distribution costs. (‘Squandering Humanity: Socioeconomic monitoring report on Syria’, Syrian Center for Policy Research, UNRWA and UNDP, 2014).


The Agency distributes cash grants throughout Syria to over 460,000 people (95 per cent of Palestine refugees in Syria) with less than six weeks per round. This is implemented through a network of banks, private institutions and UNRWA facilities, which has reduced transactional costs and minimized financial risks.


Since February 2014, cash assistance for Palestine refugees from Syria has been distributed on a monthly basis; 41,000 Palestine refugees from Syria rely on different levels of cash assistance, which is received through ATM transfers. The assistance covers food support, housing and winterization needs. Unaccompanied and separated minors (fewer than 150) receive cash rather than ATM transfers.


Cash assistance is targeted, with 11,680 (80 per cent) qualifying for regular cash assistance for food and material needs. One-off emergency cash grants are available to families experiencing a major crises.

Gap 100.00
Coverage 0.00

Funding Requirements

The depth and breadth of UNRWA operations in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon lends the Agency an extraordinary staying power and means it is ideally placed to ensure the resilience of these most vulnerable people. UNRWA more than ever is a critical life-line for Palestine refugees. By adaptation and innovation, the Agency has maintained the capacity to provide services and assistance to all Palestine refugees in Syria and those displaced to Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza.

UNRWA requires US$ 415.4 million to meet minimum needs of Palestine refugees affected by the Syria crisis in the region in 2015.

The 2014 UNRWA appeal was only 50 per cent funded. Only by substantially reducing individual assistance has UNRWA been able to continue serving all those in need. If funding levels continue to decline, critical efforts in emergency education and health care will cease, and cash assistance – the central pillar of the UNRWA humanitarian response – will be threatened. By focusing solely on staving off humanitarian disaster, decades of development gains made possible by the international community will be lost.

Click here to read the full appeal (PDF).

Total Appeal$415,000,000
Received to Date$0

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 life-line to the Palestine refugee families and communities in peril.

As the brutality and complexity of the conflict grow, so do the humanitarian consequences. UNRWA'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 50% funding, we are unable to sustain this response.

We will need US$ 415.4 million in 2015 to meet the bare minimum needs of Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The Palestine refugees count on all of us to stand by them until a solution can be found to the Palestine refugee issue. Your firm support is ever more critical and ever more appreciated as 2015 in Syria looms dark with greater challenges and hardship.

Read More

With thanks to our donors thumbnail © UNRWA

Individual Donors Make A Difference