The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global public health crisis. As of 5 May, there have been more than 3.5 million confirmed cases around the world and 245,150 deaths reported to the World Health Organization. Almost all countries have now been affected, including the five fields of UNRWA...
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Ismaeel Abbas, a 61-year-old Palestine refugee from rural Damascus, never imagined his senior years would be filled with hardship.
The Acting Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Christian Saunders, today called for a minimum of US$ 1.4 billion to fund the Agency’s essential services and assistance, including life-saving humanitarian aid and priority projects, for 5.6 million registered Palestine refugees across the Middle East for the year 2020.
In December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of the extension of the UNRWA mandate until 2023. As long as Palestine refugees remain refugees, UNRWA is the organization that they turn to for education, health care, housing, social services, financial...
Seventh-graders Sondous and Zahra’a from Yarmouk walk past the debris of war to reach their school in nearby Yalda: devastated buildings, black and grey, with rooftops that are bent over, kissing the ground. The two girls are among thousands of Palestine refugee children in Syria who bear the scars of the Syrian war.
The Government of Austria yesterday signed an agreement amounting to EUR 2 million with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s 2019 Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal.
Acting Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Christian Saunders, visited Syria between 3 and 6 December
Palestine refugees from Syria have been severely affected by the ongoing armed conflict. Of the total 438,000 Palestine refugees from Syria, the vast majority require assistance. Click here to read more.
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Facts and Figures
The ongoing conflict in Syria has had a serious impact on the health of the Palestine refugee community in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. In Syria, virtually all 438,000 Palestine refugees rely on UNRWA to meet their health-care needs, either directly or through the Agency’s interventions. Costs associated with the provision of health services have risen exponentially as medical supplies and hospital services have become scarce and significantly more expensive. In the face of a shortage of qualified health professionals, UNRWA strives to ensure that its health programme in Syria remains adequately staffed.
In Syria, UNRWA offers preventive and curative health services through its health centres and health points as well as UNRWA-subsidised referrals to secondary and tertiary healthcare. Fifteen UNRWA health centres that provide primary health-care services are currently in operation, with a further 11 health points and one mobile clinic opened in areas with significant populations of displaced Palestine refugees. The health points have been set up in available spaces close to fleeing refugees and offer outpatient care, management and treatment of non-communicable disease, and pharmacy services. Some also offer maternal health care, as well as laboratory and dental facilities. UNRWA retains the capacity to deploy emergency health teams to areas of active conflict and displacement in the event of localized crises.
In Lebanon, primary health-care services is provided free of charge in all 27 UNRWA health centres, one health point and one mobile clinic. This service is vital given that Palestine refugees in Lebanon do not have access to public health services and in the context of their worsening socioeconomic situation. In 2018, UNRWA plans to provide care for approximately 150 chronic cases, such as cancers, multiple sclerosis, mental health cases and thalassemia.
In Jordan, the UNRWA emergency health programme ensures that all PRS temporarily residing in Jordan have free access to primary health services at the Agency’s 25 health centres and four mobile clinics located throughout the country. In 2018, UNRWA will maintain this level of service while ensuring that such services are available to all, including those who face challenging protection issues, as well as those whose freedom of movement is limited due to security concerns.
The Agency has reduced its appeal from US$ 277 million in 2019 to US$ 212 million in 2020 to preserve life-saving humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees affected by the Syria regional crisis. Although the needs for Palestine refugees remain the same, with over per cent living below the poverty line, this reduction is based on projected funding trends and reflects the unprecedented funding crisis faced by UNRWA in 2019. In Syria, UNRWA continues to provide cash assistance to about 418,000 Palestine refugees to support them in meeting their basic needs. UNRWA is also the main provider of basic health care for more than 438,000 Palestine refugees estimated to remain inside Syria, as well as providing education to more than 51,000 students. In nine official camps, the Agency ensures access to basic services, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Read more in the Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal 2020
The Syria Crisis
Into the eighth 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.
WITH THANKS YOU TO OUR DONORS
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 2018 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.
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