What We Do

Relief & Social Services
Relief & Social Services
We promote the development and self-reliance of less-advantaged members of the Palestine refugee community – especially women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly.

Emergency Interventions

UNRWA has been providing humanitarian response to emergency situations since its inception. Over the course of 70 years, the Agency has responded to the multiple crises situations affecting Palestine refugees in the Near East. The Agency’s response through the Department of Relief and Social Services has focused on providing emergency registration, food assistance, provision of emergency shelter and, more recently, cash-based unconditional transfers.
Recent Initiatives

The ongoing emergency response covers the provision of food assistance to one million persons assessed as living below the poverty line in Gaza. The food assistance targeted to the most vulnerable population also benefits by default the remaining population in Gaza living under the impact of the blockade. It supports the maintenance of a relatively stable food commodity process since UNRWA food commodity imports encompass over 15 per cent of all food commodity imports to Gaza. This contributes to protection from possible market price manipulation in a distorted economy.

In Syria, UNRWA is providing cash assistance and food assistance to over 415,000 persons affected by the conflict. UNRWA has assessed in 2018 that the impact of the current cash assistance has reduced poverty rates among the Palestine refugee population serviced from 91 per cent to 74 per cent. In 2019, UNRWA is re-establishing its Social Safety Net Programme in congruity to the emergency response which focuses on most vulnerable populations such as female headed families and families headed by elderly and disabled persons, as well as orphans.

UNRWA also assists Palestine refugees from Syria living in Jordan and Lebanon, the majority of whom have been assessed as living below the poverty line. In addition, emergency support is provided to abject poor Palestine refugees living in the West Bank.