Qatar Fund for Development contributes US$ 1 million for cash assistance to Palestine refugees in Syria

30 December 2020
a Palestine refugee receiving some assistance at an UNRWA cash distribution centre in Syria. UNRWA cash assistance helps reduce vulnerability and increases the resilience of Palestine refugees in Syria. © 2020 UNRWA Photo

The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) contributed US$ 1,000,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This funding will enable the continued provision of cash assistance distribution to Palestine refugees left devastated by the protracted conflict in Syria particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This generous contribution is part of a US$ 20.7 million agreement with QFFD signed in December 2019, also supporting the Agency’s human development services of education, health, and technical and vocational education reaching up to 438,000 registered Palestine refugees in Syria. Funds received thus far, have helped some 438,000 Palestine refugees, many of whom have been displaced or lost their livelihoods as a result of the conflict.

Ten years of conflict in Syria continue to have dramatic consequences for the people living in the country, particularly Palestine refugees. Violence, displacement, economic disruption and a contracting job market have created and compounded vulnerabilities within the population. A rapidly deteriorating economy and rising inflation are driving the entire population into further vulnerability, with Palestine refugees particularly struggling to cope with the consequences of the economic crisis.

Welcoming the donation, Amanya Michael-Ebye, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria said, “UNRWA is immensely grateful for this generous donation and ongoing QFFD support. The Agency’s cash assistance programme remains the most important component of the UNRWA emergency response, which aims to help Palestine refugees meet a part of their humanitarian needs with the dignity of choice, providing them with the flexibility to address their changing and most urgent needs. Once again, QFFD has demonstrated its commitment to mitigating the suffering of Palestine refugees.”

Mr Sultan Al-Aseeri, Manager of Country Programs at QFFD, said: “The contribution will help vulnerable Palestine refugee families in desperate need under the Agency’s humanitarian response plan to mitigate their suffering and meet their needs. QFFD emphasizes the crucial efforts of UNRWA in support of humanitarian needs of the 438,000 Palestinian Refugees in Syria and commends its work to ensure lifesaving services are sustained despite COVID-19. The collaboration between QFFD and UNRWA has been critical during this time and the flexibility of cash assistance in meeting individual needs has enabled refugees the freedom to choose support that is in line with their most critical priorities. Beneficiaries reached through this contribution belong to the most vulnerable categories that include female-headed households, households headed by a person with disability and older persons and unaccompanied minors/orphans,” added Mr. Al-Aseeri

The QFFD is a regular contributor to the Agency and has always been a strong advocate of UNRWA.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140