Contribution to UNRWA's Activities in Syria under the Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal 2019
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 3-month worth of cash assistance to 23,352 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 84). 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.
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 2019, the emergency cash assistance will prioritize female-headed households (among other most vulnerable categories), which are considered among the most vulnerable categories identified during the 2018 assessment.
As the conflict in Syria enters its ninth year, Palestine refugees continue to rely heavily on UNRWA for the provision of basic services, protection and emergency humanitarian assistance. Displacement, loss of livelihoods and assets, rising inflation, the depreciation in the value of the Syrian pound, fluctuations in the price of basic commodities, destruction or damage of homes and basic infrastructure, and movement restrictions in certain areas, are among the many factors that have largely depleted the coping mechanisms of the more than 438,000 Palestine refugees estimated to be in Syria in 2019.
Whilst Damascus, Rural Damascus and most of the major urban concentrations in Homs, Hama, Latakia, and Dera’a experienced relative calm recently, with the end of active hostilities between parties to the conflict in these areas, the situation in Syria remains tense and highly unstable. This is due to the threat of asymmetric attacks, the widespread presence of Explosive Remnants of War (ERWs), major hostilities causing a high number of casualties in the North West (Idlib and surroundings), and, most fundamentally, the absence of a solution to the conflict.
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, making payment of rent one of the major expenses reported by UNRWA beneficiaries. Yarmouk camp, the largest and once most populated camp for Palestine refugees in Syria, remains in ruins with restricted access. 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.