Nearly 2 million people depend on assistance from UNRWA as war in Gaza enters 200 days and violence increases in the West Bank

24 April 2024
Gaza Strip. © 16 February 2024 UNRWA Photo by Abdallah El Hajj

UNRWA appeals for 1.2 billion US$ for its work in the occupied Palestinian territory


UNRWA is seeking US$ 1.21 billion to address the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and respond to needs in the West Bank as violence increases. 

The Agency’s emergency appeal covers the Agency’s humanitarian response until the end of this year. It aims to respond to the most urgent needs of 1.7 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip given the ongoing war, and more than 200,000 Palestine Refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 

 “The scars of war are seen on a massive scale in Gaza. Meanwhile violence is increasing in the West Bank. It is critical to support UNRWA in providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance and development services in health and education. The past months proved that there is no replacement or alternative to UNRWA,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. 

As the largest humanitarian organisation in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA is the backbone of the aid operation there, managing shelters with more than 1 million people, distributing food, providing primary healthcare, and coordinating the logistics for the humanitarian deliveries.

The priority for UNRWA is to bring in much needed supplies including food into Gaza where the population has become almost entirely dependent on handouts and relief assistance.

“This war should not become the new norm as we get into another sad milestone: 200 long days of brutality, loss, despair and anxiety. All efforts must be exerted to reach a long overdue ceasefire. Until then, much more support must come to UNRWA to allow us to respond to vast and growing humanitarian needs,” said Lazzarini.


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Notes to Editors  

  • When the war began, UNRWA scaled up an aid operation for 1.8 million people in the Gaza Strip. Within weeks, more than 1 million people were sheltering in and around UNRWA facilities, and they continue to rely on the Agency to survive. The appeal aims to sustain the aid operation in the face of spiraling needs. 
  • In the West Bank, UNRWA provides aid and other services to 1.1 million people. The appeal will provide emergency support to over 4,600 West Bank households affected by violence, including demolitions, displacement, and Israeli Security Force (ISF) operations. It will also cover repairs to critical water and sanitation infrastructure damaged by ISF operations in camps home to over 230,000 registered refugees. 
  • UNRWA’s previous emergency appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory, covering the period from October through December 2023, was for US$ 481 million. To date, the Agency has received nearly US$ 426 million of that sum.
  • The UNRWA appeal is part of an overall US$ 2.8 billion UN appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory that was launched last week. 
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.

Your support is crucial to help us provide emergency aid 
to displaced families in Gaza

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