Into the seventh year of conflict, conditions in Syria remain volatile and marked by continuing and intense armed violence and limited humanitarian access. Amid this unconscionable bloodshed and destruction, Palestine refugees remain particularly vulnerable and have been disproportionately affected by the conflict, due to their proximity to conflict areas inside Syria, high rates of poverty, and the tenuous legal status of those forced to flee to Lebanon and Jordan. The timeline below tells their story.
The majority of the 438,000 Palestine refugees remaining in Syria have been displaced at least once within Syria –with some having been displaced multiple times – and over 95 per cent of them remain in continuous need of humanitarian aid to meet their most basic needs. Up to 280,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) are currently displaced inside Syria, with a further 120,000 displaced to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and increasingly, to Europe. The escalating violence makes movement and access more difficult and causes severe hardship. Jordan effectively closed its borders to Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) early in the conflict; Lebanon followed suit in May 2015.
There are 31,000 PRS in Lebanon. Many of them have been pushed into a precarious and marginalized existence due to their uncertain legal status and face limited social protection, making them heavily reliant on UNRWA for their basic needs.
In 2017, UNRWA requires US$ 411 million for its humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, centred on preserving resilience through the provision of humanitarian assistance in the form of cash, food and relief items. UNRWA will provide a protective framework for Palestine refugees through helping mitigate their vulnerability by maintaining access to basic services including education; health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and by promoting respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL). UNRWA will strengthen humanitarian capacity, coordination and management to improve the effectiveness of its emergency programme delivery.
Read more in the 2017 Syria Emergency Appeal.
Our ability to respond depends on the generosity of donors and the guarantee of safe and consistent access to those in need, in accordance with international law. We urge donors to maintain and increase their support in 2017 to mitigate the humanitarian impacts of the crisis in Syria, enhance the protection of civilians and prevent further suffering. We call on all parties to the Syria conflict to urgently pursue a negotiated solution and put an end to the violence, destruction, and violation of rights, dignity and humanity.