European Union helps conflict-affected Palestine refugees in Syria

29 March 2023
UNRWA cash assistance continues to provide a vital lifeline to Palestine refugees in Syria.  © 2022 UNRWA photo


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the European Union (EU) have concluded a significant strategic partnership to support Palestine refugees in Syria.

In 2022, the EU contributed €2 million to the UNRWA Syria, Lebanon and Jordan Emergency Appeal 2022 (Syria Appeal) for humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected Palestine refugees. This funding supported the Agency's overall efforts to provide 148,022 of the most vulnerable Palestine refugees, 59 per cent of whom were women, with emergency cash assistance to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter and heating.  Thanks to this particular contribution, 36,003 of the most vulnerable Palestine refugees received assistance over a four-month period.

The Syrian crisis has displaced millions of people and is now entering its 13th year, with the situation remaining tense and volatile. EU support, therefore, is essential to continue to provide much-needed assistance to Palestine refugees affected by the crisis.

Expressing his gratitude for the contribution, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, Amanya Michael-Ebye, said: “Thanks to donors like the EU, we continue to make an important contribution to protecting the most vulnerable Palestine refugees, providing them with vital humanitarian assistance. As Syrians are going through the worst economic crisis since the conflict began, the sustained support of the European Union to UNRWA activities remains invaluable to help alleviate some of the devastating consequences of the conflict, particularly in relation to the most vulnerable Palestine refugees. The UNRWA cash assistance programme remains one of the pillars of the Agency’s emergency response.”

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  • The 2022 Syria Appeal ask for the Syria field was US$ 232 million; the total income received was US$ 90.2 million representing 38.8 per cent of the overall funding requirement.
  • Since 2012, the EU has provided over EUR 40 million in humanitarian aid to the Agency’s Syria Appeals.
  • In Syria, UNRWA distributes cash assistance to some 400,000 Palestine refugees.
  • The humanitarian crisis in Syria is at its worst level since the crisis began 12 years ago, spilling over into Lebanon and Jordan with dramatic consequences. Forty per cent remains in protracted displacement. This year, the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation is exacerbated by high inflation, the devaluation of the Syria currency, COVID-19, the crisis in Ukraine and, recently, a serious outbreak of cholera.
  • The EU is the largest multilateral donor to UNRWA.
Background Information: 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.


For more information, please contact:

Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson/ Director of External Relations & Communications
+962 (0)79 090 0140