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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
9 November 2015


09 November 2015

As the humanitarian situation degrades further in Syria, the European Commission rapidly responded to the urgent needs of vulnerable Palestine refugees in Syria with an additional EUR 2.5 million (US$ 2.7 million) contribution in October 2015. This brings the European Commission's humanitarian aid to UNRWA in 2015 to EUR 5 million (US$ 5.6 million).

This donation supports the UNRWA critical cash assistance programme, which targets up to 430,000 conflict-affected Palestine refugees to help them cover their basic needs. It will also provide much-needed funding to support the Agency’s winterization interventions, as Palestine refugees brace for their fifth winter amid conflict.

“The European Commission's support comes at a time of great need”, said Michael Kingsley-Nyinah, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria. “Palestine refugees continue to be profoundly affected by the long-term impact of the conflict. This EU humanitarian support will enable UNRWA to reach more people with more life-saving aid, at a time where people are running out of options in Syria.”

"The European Commission has provided long-standing support to the important work that UNRWA is doing for Palestinian refugees. UNRWA has been the reference for relief, help and the symbol of the international community’s commitment to Palestinian refugees' plight," said Monique Pariat, Director-General of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department.

To date, the Syria appeal has been only 37.27 per cent funded. The Agency urgently requires US$ 195 million to meet the bare minimum needs of Palestine refugees affected by the crisis in Syria.


The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

The European Commission ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: humanitarian aid and civil protection.

The Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year.

With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, ECHO provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs.

For more information, please visit ECHO's website.


UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, 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 solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724

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