Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

  • Female sta observe physical distancing while participating in a yoga session in Damascus © 2020 UNRWA Photo

    Rapid Increase in Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

    As the epidemiological situation across Syria has rapidly evolved over the past two months, rising patient numbers are adding pressure to the fragile health system....

  • SFO teacher: Hazar al-Madi in her classroom at the UNRWA Haifa School in Damascus, Syria. © 2020 UNRWA photo by Taghrid Mohammed
    The UNRWA Education Programme were deft in rapidly setting up remote learning plan for Palestine refugee students in the Agency’s 103 schools across Syria to ensure the continuation of students’ access to quality, inclusive, and equitable education
  • Israa al-Rifai, 15, is an UNRWA student at the UNRWA Shafa Amr School in Barzeh, Damascus. © 2020 Photo courtesy of Israa al-Rifai
    Israa is originally from Yarmouk refugee camp. Together with her parents and her two brothers, she fled from the camp in 2012. Like thousands of others, the family has been displaced repeatedly in the years that followed.
  • Hajj Ma'rouf stands in front of the remains of his damaged home in Ein el Tal, Syria. © 2020 UNRWA photo by Suzanne Leuenberger
    “Not only did I come back and repair our home in Ein el Tal, but I also recovered from a stroke! I was told that I might never walk again, but now, I’ve cultivated a garden, even in the face of danger from explosive remnants of war.

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.

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Funding Requirements

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

Total Appeal$212,846,000
Received to Date$0

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