Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

  • Palestinian refugees from Syria sitting in front of their rented house in Beddawi refugee camp, Lebanon. © 2019 UNRWA photo by Maysoun Mustafa.

    This mid-year progress report covers the period 1 January through 30 June 2019 and is intended to provide an update on results achieved under the full range of indicators included in the 2019 Emergency Appeal (EA) for the Syria regional crisis.

    During the first six months of 2019, UNRWA...

  • Students attending Jerusalem Basic Girls School. © 2019 UNRWA Photo by Marwan Baghdadi
    This week, as the Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC) turns 30, the UNRWA reflects on the impact of its assistance to the children of Gaza, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
  • Graduates photographed during the UNRWA Damascus Training Centre Graduation Ceremony 2019. ©UNRWA photo by Taghrid Mohammad
    Families, parents, friends and staff cheered as some 280 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Damascus Training Centre (DTC) students graduated from their vocational training programmes on 12 October 2019
  • The Special Coordinator for Syria, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Syria, Mr. Futoshi Matsumoto, visits the UNRWA Palestine Girls’ School for Basic Education in Alliance in Damascus.©2019UNRWA Photo by Hala Mukhles
    On 10 October, the Special Coordinator for Syria, the Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Syria, Mr. Futoshi Matsumoto, visited UNRWA installations in the Alliance neighborhood in Damascus, accompanied by the First-Secretary, Mr. Hiroki Miyoshi, and the Second-Secretary, Mr. Kenichi Sugimoto. Welcoming Mr. Matsumoto, UNRWA Officer-in-Charge in Syria, Ram Trivedi expressed the Agency’s deepest appreciation for Japan’s continued support for Palestine refugees. “Japan has long been a highly valued UNRWA donor and partner. The Government of Japan was among the ten largest donors to the...
  • The right to food is the most basic of human rights. UNRWA safeguards this right through the provision of cash assistance and basic food items to the most vulnerable Palestine refugees who would otherwise be unable to meet their food consumption needs. The Agency also provides emergency cash and food assistance in times of crisis to reduce the suffering of affected families. In 2019, UNRWA will provide emergency cash assistance to 418,000 Palestine refugees in Syria to safeguard this right and for families affected by the ongoing Syria War. It is one of the largest cash assistance programmes...

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


Cash assistance is a dignified, cost-effective and flexible tool to address the most immediate and urgent needs of vulnerable refugees in crisis. By allowing conflict-affected civilians to independently determine and meet their respective essential priorities, short-term cash assistance boosts individual coping strategies and enables refugees to allocate scarce financial resources to their own household priorities.

In 2018, cash assistance remains the priority intervention in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The purpose of the regular cash assistance component is to cover basic needs such as food, non-food items (NFI) and shelter.

In Syria, UNRWA is running one of the largest cash assistance programmes anywhere in the world, helping Palestine refugees to meet part of their humanitarian needs with the dignity of choice. In 2018, UNRWA plans to distribute cash grants to 418,000 refugees. Through its partners, comprising a network of banks and private companies present in all regions of Syria, UNRWA provides cash assistance in a flexible and timely manner with minimal financial risk.

In Lebanon, 95 per cent of PRS are food insecure and greatly rely on UNRWA support to cover their basic needs. In 2018, 34,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) will receive a monthly multipurpose cash grant.

In Jordan, cash will be distributed in 2018 to 17,100 vulnerable and extremely vulnerable PRS. The purpose of the regular cash assistance component is to cover basic needs such as food, NFIs and shelter.

Gap 79.23
Coverage 20.77

Funding Requirements

The Agency has reduced its appeal from US$ 408 million in 2018 to US$ 277 million in 2019 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 90 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 2018.  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 2019

Total Appeal$276,903,000
Received to Date$57,499,300

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.


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.


With thanks to our donors thumbnail © UNRWA