Contribution to UNRWA Syria 2020
UNRWA's overall goal in Syria is to continue to deliver vital relief to Palestine Refugees affected by the Syria Crisis and to enable Palestine refugees to meet their basic life-saving needs.
Strategic Priority 1: To preserve resilience through the provision of humanitarian assistance ensuring that the most vulnerable Palestine refugees meet their basic needs.
Strategic Priority 2: To contribute to a protective environment for Palestine refugees by maintaining access to basic services including education; health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and livelihoods; and protection.
Strategic Priority 3: To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency programme delivery through strengthened humanitarian capacity, coordination and management.
With the contribution from the Austrian Development Agency, UNRWA is able to provide 4-months worth of cash assistance to 18,377 Palestine refugees belonging to the most vulnerable categories. Each Palestine refugee will receive USD 28 per person per month (total amount per refugee is USD 112). The categories identified as most vulnerable are: people belonging to the following groups: i) female-head households, ii) families headed by a disabled person and persons with disabilities, iii) families headed by an elderly person and iv) unaccompanied minors.
UNRWA implements the program directly and supports Palestine Refugees in Damascus, Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Latakia, and Der'a.
Provision of Cash assistance for 4 months to 18,377 Palestine refugees belonging to the most vulnerable categories identified by a vulnerability assessment. Any member of a family eligible for cash assistance over 18, regardless of his/her gender, can collect the cash on behalf of the family. In 2020, the emergency cash assistance will continue to prioritize female-headed households (among other most vulnerable categories), which are considered among the most vulnerable categories identified during the 2018 assessment.
After over nine years of conflict, the situation in Syria remains highly unstable, and the scale, severity and complexity of humanitarian needs remain extensive. Whereas active conflict has ceased in large parts of the country, fighting continued in the north-east and particularly in the north-west at the beginning of 2020, where approximately one million persons were newly displaced since last December. A fragile ceasefire has been holding since early March, with only sporadic clashes being reported.
Of extreme concern over the past months has been the sliding economy that is driving the country into poverty on a scale unprecedented. Food prices have reached record levels, with a 41% increase in the estimated cost of a food basket in Rural Damascus from the beginning to the end of March, and shortages being reported.
The above-mentioned factors continue to have devastating impact on Palestine refugees and continues to deplete the coping mechanisms of the 438,000 Palestine refugees estimated to be in Syria, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic posing additional challenges to the socio-economic situation of Palestine refugees in Syria (PRS). The Palestine refugee population remains largely displaced, with almost 60 per cent of refugee households having been displaced at least once since the beginning of the conflict. Yarmouk, Dera’a, and Ein El-Tal (Aleppo) camps, previously home to more than 30 per cent of the Palestine refugee population in Syria, are almost completely destroyed.
UNRWA’s cash assistance programme, which is the biggest intervention in terms of budget under the Emergency Appeal, is part of a comprehensive package of assistance available to Palestine refugees in Syria, including protection interventions with a focus on SGBV, programmes targeting adolescent boys and girls, and a dedicated Woman Programme implemented through ten community-based organisations. Synergies are built between each intervention to ensure that refugees receive integrated assistance.