During the period covered by this Appeal (March-July 2020), cases of COVID-19 were reported in all UNRWA fields of operation, (see box 1), with the number of cases increasing dramatically in West Bank and Lebanon from June onwards. At the time of writing, the situation was deteriorating in all UNRWA fields. In Syria, national health response capacities, already weakened by a decade of conflict, are struggling with an increased number of cases. In Gaza, where the strict measures imposed by the authorities had managed to contain the outbreak, the first local transmission cases were reported on 24 August and numbers have increased rapidly since then. From August onwards, COVID-19 cases were also on the rise in Jordan.
Palestine refugees in all fields have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the end of July, there were 1,932 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Palestine refugees in UNRWA five fields of operation; many more were also suffering the consequences of lockdowns, quarantine and movement restrictions, which further reduced their access to employment opportunities pushing them into deeper poverty and vulnerability.