United Nations Relief Works Agency - Syria - Syria


United Nations Relief Works Agency - Syria

About the organization

UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states.In Syria, UNRWA is mandated to provide health, education, and relief and social services to more than 486,000 Palestine refugees living in nine official and three unofficial camps. While Palestine refugees enjoy many of the rights of Syrian citizens, including access to social services provided by the Syrian government, development indicators reveal that they lag behind the host population in key areas, such as a higher infant mortality rate and lower school enrolment figures. Palestine refugees in Syria, like all Palestine refugees, remain a vulnerable population and live in uncertainty with regard to their long-term future.Most of the Palestine refugees who fled to the Syrian Arab Republic in 1948 were from the northern part of Palestine, mainly from Safad and the cities of Haifa and Jaffa. A further 100,000 people, including Palestine refugees, fled from the Golan Heights to other parts of Syria when the area was occupied by Israel. A few thousand refugees fleeing war-torn Lebanon in 1982 also took refuge in Syria.The ongoing political situation in Syria has affected the economy.

The consequent decrease in value of the Syrian pound, increase in cost of basic commodities, and the shrinking job market have impacted the Palestine refugee community.

As the UN agency responsible for their welfare, UNRWA is doing everything within its means to strengthen refugees’ ability to cope with the prevailing circumstances and eventually to achieve sustainable livelihoods.

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