Ma’an News Agency reports that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has officially launched its 2019 Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal (Syria Appeal).
UNRWA said, in a press release: “Funds raised for by this appeal will provide vital life-saving humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon who continue to face significant humanitarian and protection needs.”
Of the estimated 438,000 Palestine refugees remaining inside Syria, 60% have been displaced at least once since the start of the conflict and a third have had their homes damaged or destroyed.
Over 120,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have fled the country, including over 28,000 currently present in Lebanon and 17,719 in Jordan, where many of them face a precarious and marginalized existence due to their uncertain legal status and social protection mechanisms.
In 2018, UNRWA was confronted with the largest financial deficit in its history, which also affected the funding of the 2018 Syria Appeal and consequently the delivery of humanitarian services to mitigate the consequences of the Syria regional crisis. For example, both the frequency and of cash assistance rounds to the most vulnerable Palestine refugees in Syria and Jordan had to be scaled back.
In the wake of this dramatic budgetary crisis, UNRWA donors and partners mobilized in a powerful show of solidarity with Palestine refugees and the Agency’s “Dignity is Priceless” fundraising campaign which allowed the Agency to nearly close the financial gap by the end of the year and continue its service delivery uninterrupted.
The Director of UNRWA Operations in Syria, Muhammad Abdi Adar, emphasized “Despite the challenging operating environment, UNRWA will continue to adapt its interventions to meet the vital needs of Palestine refugees who have been affected by the conflict. Palestine refugees remain one of the most vulnerable groups in Syria and across the region and the Agency will continue to provide emergency assistance to help them meet their basic needs.”
Under the Syria Appeal, UNRWA requires $157 million to provide emergency cash assistance, non-food items and food assistance to the more than 484,000 Palestine refugees directly affected by the conflict in the region.
The appeal will provide emergency cash assistance to 418,000 Palestine refugees in Syria, 28,800 PRS in Lebanon and 18,500 PRS in Jordan. UNRWA requires another $83 million to provide life-saving emergency health-care, education, protection and livelihood opportunities for Palestinian refugees affected by the Syrian conflict across the region.