UNRWA launches 2015 Syria regional crisis response plan

18 December 2014
Young boy in Qabr Essit camp, December 2014. © UNRWA/Taghrid Mohammad


The 2015 UNRWA appeal for the Syria regional crisis, published today, outlines the need for US$ 415.4 million to meet the minimum needs of Palestine refugees suffering profound hardship as a result of the conflict in Syria. The UNRWA appeal is also part of the two UN-wide appeals for Syria and the surrounding countries launched today in Berlin.

“In the midst of the countless human tragedies unfolding in the country, the plight of the Palestine refugee community must not be underestimated or forgotten,” says UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General, Margot Ellis.  Buffeted by the conflict inside Syria and with little option for flight, the 560,000 Palestine refugees affected by the Syria crisis increasingly feel trapped, singled out and unwelcome in the region. Despite increasing operational challenges caused by the conflict, UNRWA is able to provide wide emergency assistance alongside its well-established programmes in health, education, community development, microfinance, relief, youth training and employment. Delivered by nearly 4,000 Palestinians staff, this support provides a critical source of community and family resilience and continuity in the face of growing hardship and peril.

Of the 560,000 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria, about 280,000 are displaced in the country, and an estimated 80,000 have fled the country. Those who have reached Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt face risky legal limbo compounded with living conditions so difficult that many decide to return to the dangers inside Syria.

UNRWA requires US$ 415.4 million to respond adequately, of which US$ 329 million will support humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees inside Syria, US$ 63.5 million in Lebanon and US$ 16.5 million in Jordan. US$ 6.4 million is required for emergency response outside of the purview of these three field offices, including cash assistance for Palestinian families from Syria in Gaza, regional coordination, support and advocacy.

The Agency’s continued support to Palestine refugees affected by the Syria conflict is an imperative of humanitarian, political and strategic importance.  UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General explains, “There is no substitute to a political solution to the conflict, not only in Syria, but also for Palestine itself. But until that day comes, we need to make sure no Palestine refugee feels left behind or forgotten. UNRWA and the international community must continue to stand by them.”

Click here to read the full appeal.

You can help Palestine refugees coping with the crisis in Syria by donating to our Syria appeal.  Click here to donate. 

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 5.4 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