Now in its seventh year, the conflict in Syria continues to have shattering consequences for ordinary people that have lost their homes, livelihoods and security. Palestine refugees are one of the communities worst affected by the conflict. They rely on UNRWA to provide life-saving aid including food, water, shelter and medical assistance. UNRWA needs US$ 409 million to continue to provide these services to close to half a million Palestine refugees affected by the crisis in Syria, including those displaced into Lebanon and Jordan. US$ 329 of the Syria Regional Emergency Appeal is destined for use inside Syria and will allow UNRWA to continue to provide cash assistance, education and health care for the 439.000 Palestine refugees inside the country.
UNRWA launched the Emergency Appeal in the midst of a financial crisis, which was exacerbated by the US decision to cut back its funding. In 2017, the US provided 60% of UNRWA total emergency funding in Syria. Speaking during the Emergency Appeal launch in Beirut, Mohammed Abdi Adar, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, highlighted what is at stake if UNRWA finances continue to dwindle. “The lack of funding seems to be generating a lot of fear, anger and resentment,” said Adar. “Unfortunately, it is yet another addition to a long list of historical grievances and creates a fertile ground for radical and extremists groups to recruit, operate and flourish.”
The conflict has subjected hundreds of thousands of Palestine refugees in Syria to continued and repeated displacement, with over 120,000 fleeing to neighbouring countries, and beyond. Almost 254,000 are internally displaced, and an estimated 56,600 are trapped in hard-to-reach or inaccessible locations, such as Yarmouk, Yalda, Babila and Beit Sahem in Damascus; Ghouta in Rif Damascus; and Dera’a camp, Muzeirib and Jilien in southern Syria.
UNRWA is the largest direct provider of assistance to Palestine refugees affected by the Syria conflict. Almost 4,000 staff in Syria are dedicating their lives to provide cash assistance, education, health care, water and sanitation, food aid, essential non-food items and shelter.
For more information, read the 2018 Syria emergency appeal fact sheet. (click here)