The cash assistance programme is vital in providing critical support to the 430,000 conflict-affected Palestine refugees in Syria that rely on UNRWA assistance to meet their essential food and livelihood needs. The provision of cash promotes bene.ciaries’ dignity, allowing them to make their own purchasing decisions and manage their expenditures. On 17 January, UNRWA commenced the .rst round of cash assistance for 2016, which will continue through to March. UNRWA has so far distributed US$11,411,093 to a total of 173,186 refugees (46,951 families) in Damascus, Aleppo, Qamishli, Dera’a, Swayda, Homs, Latakia and Hama.
While food remains available in most markets, in.ation and restricted access means food assistance from UNRWA continues to be a vital intervention for many Palestine refugees. UNRWA distributed 45,149 family food parcels in January, benefiting up to 180,596 individuals, via 15 distribution centres in the Damascus area, Hama, Latakia and Dera’a. Khan Eshieh and Ramadan continue to experience access di.culties. The Agency’s .fth round of food assistance, which commenced in October, was completed in January; the .rst round for 2016 will begin in February.
The number of residents in shelters continued to decline in January 2016. UNRWA currently hosts 3,687 Palestine refugees (1,067 families) in 13 collective shelters, located in various UNRWA installations, schools and training centres in Damascus and Latakia and two non-UNRWA facilities in Khan Dunoun Camp. In order to help meet families’ needs, the Agency provided 1,395 blankets, 7,994 mattresses, 100 baby kits, and 118 heater fans, as well as 2,406 food parcels and 57,280 additional food items. UNRWA also provided 2,384 food parcels to residents in Husseiniyeh, where 8,000 families have been able to return so far.
UNRWA continues to provide health care to up to 450,000 refugees in Syria through 15 health centres and 11 health points and provides subsidized care at 14 hospitals across Syria. The Agency conducted 81,384 curative patient consultations this month, as well as 2,333 dental consultations. Twenty-three UNRWA health staff participated in training sessions in January on the launch of the e-Health programme, which has been introduced to transfer all hard-copy records and documentation to electronic versions.
In January 45,627 students attended 99 schools, of which 44 are UNRWA schools and 55 are hosted in government schools. Seventy per cent of children are in elementary classes (grades 1 to 6 and 30 per cent are in preparatory classes (grades 7 to 9). A survey recently conducted by the UNRWA Education Department found that 6.7 per cent of enrolled students have some form of physical or learning impairment. The Education Department also maintains a referral system, which teachers and school principals are encouraged to make use of to help ensure equal access to education for children with disabilities.
WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE:
The Agency distributed a total of 287 jerry cans, 5,418 hygiene kits, 1,100 brooms and mops, 21 packs of baby diapers and 10,036 packs of sanitary towels to displaced refugees in collective shelters. UNRWA also provides regular garbage collection, rehabilitation of sewage systems infrastructure, supply of chemicals for treatment, equipment, spare parts, and fuel to camps and host communities.
Date: February 2016
* The boundaries shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations