In 2017, UNRWA requires US$ 411 million for its humanitarian response to assist Palestine refugees affected by the Syria regional crisis, including those remaining in Syria, as well as those who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. US$ 60.5 million of the overall Appeal aims to provide continued emergency support to Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) in Lebanon, specifically.
A recent comprehensive head count carried out by UNRWA showed that since December 2014, there has been a decrease in the number of PRS registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, from 41,413 to 32,000 (as of the end of December 2016).
This is not a fixed number and it will likely change as a result of newcomers from Syria, new births, deaths and travel from Lebanon. UNRWA will implement a robust monitoring system of numbers by physically visiting all PRS families in Lebanon three times per year.
Notwithstanding reduced numbers, PRS vulnerabilities as a result of protracted displacement and limited access to Lebanon are not anticipated to abate, and there is a concern that the uncertainty PRS face as a result of their lack of legal status, including in relation to birth/marriage registration, and limited access to employment opportunities may result in further high-risk migrations.
Almost 90 per cent of PRS in Lebanon are under the poverty line and 95 per cent are food insecure. There is a critical ongoing need for UNRWA to provide cash assistance, education and health services to mitigate their vulnerability, which is forcing many of them to flee the Middle East region. In view of the high levels of need, UNRWA will support all PRS families. They will continue to receive a monthly multipurpose cash grant worth US$ 100 per family and an additional US$ 27 for each family member per month to cover food costs. Cash for winterization will also be provided.
The Agency will continue to advocate for the rights of Palestine refugees with the Lebanese authorities on issues such as freedom of movement and the legal status of PRS, as well as the right to work, right to property and living conditions, which also continue to impact on the host population of Palestine refugees in Lebanon. UNRWA will also continue to engage with the international human rights system to address these concerns.