UNRWA Cash Assistance: Vital Assistance for Palestine Refugees in Syria

25 March 2022
UNRWA cash assistance is crucial for Palestine refugees and mitigates the additional economic hardship caused by COVID-19. ©2022, UNRWA Photo

 “When Yarmouk was under siege, we took refuge at an UNRWA collective shelter in Jaramana Camp, near Damascus. We stayed there for a year then moved to Hazeh, on the outskirts of the city. I will never forget those painful times,” recalls Um Haytham, a 39-year-old Palestine refugee who was displaced from Yarmouk 11 years ago.

Recently divorced, Um Haytham now lives with her retired father, mother and her widowed sister in a rented apartment in Hazeh. “No one in our house works and our financial situation is very difficult. My father’s pension is not enough to cover for our basic daily needs," said Um Haytham.  The high cost of living has made it increasingly challenging for Palestine refugees in Syria, like Um Haytham and her family, to make ends meet. In the last few years, they have grown to be increasingly reliant on humanitarian assistance from UNRWA and other basic services to survive. 

“UNRWA provides us with high quality services for which my family and I are so grateful. The cash assistance is crucial and helps us cover some of our basic needs in these difficult times," Um Haytham added. While she is thankful for the cash assistance provided by the Agency, she hopes for a marked increase in the amount of aid to help offset the effects of inflation. “I suffer from depression and use medication. In addition to covering basic food needs, UNRWA cash assistance is the sole source of income that helps me pay for my medication and feel better. This assistance preserves our dignity,” Um Haytham explained.

In Syria, UNRWA provides cash assistance to about 145,000 Palestine refugees belonging to the most vulnerable categories to help them meet their basic needs. This intervention is made possible with contributions from key partners like the European Union (EU) supporting the Agency’s emergency response. Since 2012, the EU has contributed over EUR 35 million in humanitarian funding to the Agency’s Emergency Appeal for Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.