THE GOVERNMENT OF EXTREMADURA SUPPORTS THE FOOD SECURITY
OF PALESTINE REFUGEES AFFECTED BY THE SYRIAN CONFLICT
07 April 2015
The conflict in Syria, now in its fifth year, continues to have a disastrous impact on the civilians in the country. Palestine refugees remain particularly vulnerable and have been disproportionately affected by the conflict, due to their proximity to conflict areas inside Syria, high rates of poverty and the tenuous legal status of those forced to flee to Lebanon and Jordan. Of the 560,000 Palestine refugees who were registered with UNRWA before the conflict, an estimated 450,000 are estimated to remain inside the country; over two thirds (280,000 people) are internally displaced and an estimated 95 per cent (430,000) are in need of sustained humanitarian assistance.
Food security remains a critical issue in the midst of the conflict. Even before the conflict, Palestine refugees in Syria faced a higher unemployment rate than Syrians, making it more difficult to meet their basic food needs – many of the displaced have since lost their source of income and livelihoods. With a collapsed agricultural industry and soaring inflation, food insecurity among Palestine refugees has worsened since the onset of the conflict.
In light of these circumstances, the Government of Extremadura has made a generous contribution of EUR 200,000 towards the provision of 4,633 food packages for vulnerable displaced Palestine refugee families in Syria. The packages are comprised of flour, oil and legumes, covering one third of the caloric needs of the most vulnerable families for approximately one month.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall, projected for 2016 to stand at US$ 81 million. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance .
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Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
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+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724