UNRWA Launches US$ 16 Million Appeal for Palestine Refugees Impacted by Turkiye-Syria Earthquake

06 March 2023
Damaged sustained to Palestine refugee homes in Lattakia camp as a result of the Turkey-Syria earthquake.  © 2023 UNRWA Photo

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Damascus, 6 March 2023 – Today, on the one-month anniversary of the Turkiye-Syria earthquakes, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) launches an updated flash appeal for US$ 16.2 million to meet the humanitarian and early recovery needs of Palestine refugees who were affected by this natural catastrophe in Syria and Lebanon.

Among the first humanitarian organizations on the ground, UNRWA provided emergency relief services, including health, psychosocial and mental health care, food and cash assistance, non-food items, and rental subsidies and housing to Palestine refugees in Aleppo and Lattakia. The earthquake also caused damage to an already weak housing and infrastructure in Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon, including medical and educational facilities and water towers.

This updated flash appeal will enable UNRWA to support affected Palestine refugees with cash and non-food items until August 2023. The appeal also seeks funding for the rehabilitation of UNRWA premises and homes of Palestine refugees that were destroyed or damaged by the earthquakes.  

“The earthquakes and their aftershocks caused an unfathomable level of suffering to people in Northern Syria, across the fault and conflict lines including Palestine refugees,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. “The Agency was able to respond to their most urgent need for safety and assistance on the very first day, including by having some 700 people sleep in an UNRWA school in Lattakia. We are counting on our partners to help us help Palestine refugees in this time of acute need.”

Click here for the UNRWA 2023 Syria-Lebanon Flash Appeal.


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Notes to editors

The Emergency and Early Recovery Response in support of Palestine refugees in Syria and in Lebanon affected by the earthquakes and aftershocks Updated Flash Appeal will cover the immediate needs of Palestine refugees in Syria and Lebanon impacted by the 06 February earthquake until August 2023.

As of 21 February, an estimated 13,905 Palestine refugee families (46,534 persons) in Syria have been affected by the earthquake.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, UNRWA opened its Al Khairiyeh school in Latakia to provide hundreds of Palestine refugees (together with several hundred Syrians) with safe shelter. In the first week, more than 1,000 Palestine refugees and Syrians affected by the earthquake were provided with breakfast and hot meals on a daily basis.

Under this appeal, UNRWA plans to support the repair of a total 500 Palestine refugee shelters.

Likewise, the Agency will address the immediate health needs of 46,531 Palestine refugees affected by the earthquake through an increase in hospitalization referrals, patient subsidies and psychosocial counselling.

The top three fundings asks include US$ 4.4 million for Palestine refugee shelter repair, US$ 3.2 million for emergency multi-purpose cash assistance, and US$ 3 million for non-food items.

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
+962 (0)79 090 0140