Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

UNRWA representative James Dykstra meeting with the His Excellency Kuwait Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi and First Secretary Bashar Alduwaisan.
The Government of Kuwait has contributed US$ 5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
UNRWA launches the 11th Palestiniadi Games in Beirut, Lebanon. © 2019 UNRWA Photo by Rabie Akel
UNRWA launched the 11th Palestiniadi (Palestinian Olympics) with the support of the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide and UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl attend a signing ceremony to formalize support from the Government of Norway to UNRWA. © 2019 UNRWA Photo by Giorgia Alvino.
The Government of Norway announced its support to UNRWA with the generous amount of US$ 11.5 million in response to the Agency’s Emergency Appeal on the Syria crisis.
Fatmeh holds a photo of her son Baha’a, who was killed in a mortar attack in Syria last year. © 2019 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Muhammad
At just 14 years-old Baha’a Mohammed’s life was cut tragically short. He was forced to flee his home twice
UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl meets with a Palestine refugee student in Syria. © 2018 UNRWA Photo
Op-ed by Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) When last visiting the Yarmouk refugee camp, in Damascus, I was confronted with a scale of devastation unlike anything I had witnessed before in almost three decades of work in war zones around the world. Standing in these fields of ruin, I saw signs everywhere of the appalling human cost of an unforgiving conflict, which has torn apart the lives of millions of Syrians. I was also reminded of what makes the tragedy of Palestine refugees in Syria so particularly unique...

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


Functioning UNRWA schools and the provision of quality education remain a vital source of stability in the context of armed conflict. While conflict poses physical and psychosocial risks to children, access to education provides stability and protection and contributes to building new opportunities and bringing hope amid crisis. UNRWA will continue to provide accredited education services to PRS students in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, through direct delivery and self-learning materials. 

In Syria, UNRWA will continue to focus on improving the quality and inclusiveness of its education programme for approximately 48,000 students. This will include the continued retention and capacity-building of over 1,500 teaching staff throughout Syria. UNRWA will seek to expand the number of safe learning spaces to support a large number of children with specific educational needs. UNRWA will also aim to expand the provision of psychosocial support services to Palestine refugee students by increasing the number of counsellors from 40 to 47, in order to have one working in each UNRWA school.

In Lebanon, the education programme will continue to promote quality and inclusive education for around 5,400 PRS students, which supports the mental well-being of children. In this regard, extracurricular activities will continue, offering children, including children with disabilities, a space for social and recreational learning. These initiatives aim to offer some respite from the difficult living conditions in the camps, while also promoting better integration in the school system as well as in the community at large.

In Jordan, education activities for around 1,400 PRS and Syrian students will be conducted in line with Education-in-Emergencies (EiE) programmatic strands that include ensuring the provision of a safe and secure learning environment, ensuring that the quality of teaching and learning is sustained during emergencies, and enhancing community and student engagement and participation. Emergency Appeal funding will, among others, cover the salaries of more than 100 emergency daily paid teachers necessary to maintain quality and mitigate increased class sizes.

Gap 87.50
Coverage 12.50

Funding Requirements

In 2018, UNRWA requires US$ 438 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 is also the main provider of basic healthcare to all 438,000 Palestine refugees in Syria as well as providing education to more than 48,000 students. In the nine official camps, the Agency ensures access to basic services including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). As of 1st of September 2018, the Emergency Appeal for Syria is 12,5% funded.

Read more in the Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal 2018

Total Appeal$438,000,000
Received to Date$54,750,000

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 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.


With thanks to our donors thumbnail © UNRWA

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