Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

Taghrid Mohammad/UNRWA Archives
“Without the cash assistance we receive we would be lost,” says double amputee Imad Ali Mdardas. Like the majority of Palestine refugees living in Syria, Imad and his family have been left in desperate circumstances by the ongoing armed conflict. Before escaping the besieged area of Yarmouk in Damascus, Imad could not access the healthcare or medicine he needed to treat his condition. As a result, his second leg was amputated in a makeshift clinic in Yarmouk to prevent the spread of a serious infection. He is now wheelchair-bound. Persons with disabilities are profoundly vulnerable to conflict-related risks. In Syria, Palestine refugees living with disabilities have struggled to access the care and services they require. With EuropeAid funding, UNRWA has responded by providing rehabilitation services to 2,200 refugees to help them better cope with their disabilities. UNRWA is also providing prosthetic devices, including wheelchairs and hearing aids to an additional 1,000 Palestine refugees throughout 2014. Imad’s disability and poor health have placed an unsustainable financial burden on his family. Neither he nor his wife have a regular source of income. However, since escaping...


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Syria Regional Crisis Response Update 79
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 and humanitarian assistance. This biweekly update covers UNRWA efforts from 1 to 18 September.
UNRWA Archives
Over the decades, the UNRWA health programme has dramatically rolled back the burden of communicable and vaccine-preventable disease among Palestine refugees in Syria. The health of Palestine refugees increasingly mirrors global trends, where non-communicable diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes are a greater threat. Now, in clinics in Syria, UNRWA doctors are dealing daily with diseases that were unthinkable only a short time ago. “We are still dealing with diabetes and chronic disease,” says one doctor in a shelter for internally displaced people close to Damascus. “And also we now see more and more skin diseases like scabies and other diseases like diarrhea.” Such illnesses are caused by crowded conditions in the shelters and camps and by the scarcity of good drinking water. Over 50 per cent of Palestine refugees in Syria (including UNRWA staff) have been forced to flee their homes and take shelter elsewhere. “We also see more cases of high blood pressure, stress and depression, which is not surprising in an area that suffered mortar attacks every day until very recently. All in all, the number of consultations per day has gone from 100 before the conflict, to...
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

440,000 PRS will receive monthly food rations


UNRWA initiated a second round of food distributions in June, which is currently ongoing. To date, a total of 84,229 food parcels have been distributed to 76,166 families across Syria, while 33,834 families are still to receive food assistance. Each food parcel provides 700kcals per person per day for approximately one month.


In July 2014, Lebanon’s PRS received the equivalent of USD $1.22 million for food aid.


Due to a lack of emergency funding, Palestine refugee families have received two months worth of cash for food and non-food items this year.

Click here for more infromation. 



Funding Requirements

From 1 January to 31 December 2014, UNRWA will provide urgent humanitarian
assistance to up to 440,000 Palestine refugees affected by conflict in Syria, as many
as 80,000 to 100,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) in Lebanon, up to 20,000
PRS in Jordan and up to 1,200 PRS in Gaza. The number of people in need
is rapidly approaching the total population of 540,000 Palestine refugees
registered in Syria.

For this period, UNRWA requires US$ 417.4 million, of which US$ 310 million will
be programmed inside Syria, US$ 90.4 million in Lebanon and US$ 14.6 million
in Jordan
. US$ 2.4 million is required for regional management and emergency response
outside of the purview of these three field offices, including cash assistance for PRS
families in Gaza. This is a conservative reckoning of what is required to address the
most basic requirements of a community unravelling and in acute distress.

Click here for more information

Total Appeal$417,400,000
Received to Date$197,700,000
52.64% Gap