UK Gives £20 Million to Palestinian Refugees Affected by Syria Crisis

RAMALLAH, December 9, 2015 (WAFA) – The United Kingdom has contributed an additional £20 million ($30.3 million) to Palestinian refugees affected by Syria crisis.

UNRWA announced in a press release that the UK Government, through the Department for International Development (DFID), has contributed an additional £20 million ($30.3 million) to support UNRWA efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees in Syria and the surrounding region.

This brings the total donation by the UK for the Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal 2015 to £28 million ($42.28 million).

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said, “I am very grateful for this highly significant contribution from the UK. The crisis in Syria is causing acute suffering for civilians, including Palestine refugees. Those who still live in Syria are dealing with increasingly inhumane conditions, while those who have fled to neighboring countries, leaving behind their homes and communities, are in desperate need of assistance.”

“This contribution is critical to the Agency’s ongoing response to the Syria crisis,” he added.

UNRWA explained that of the £20 million ($30.3 million) additional contribution, £10 million ($15.15 million) will go towards assisting Palestine refugees inside Syria where more than 95 percent of the 450,000 of those living in the country rely on UNRWA to meet their daily basic needs.

The remaining £10 million ($15.15 million) will go to the Agency’s Syria regional crisis response efforts in Lebanon, where the 42,000 Palestine refugees from Syria face a marginalized existence and increasing vulnerability due to limited access to formal employment, dire living conditions and restrictions on their ability to renew their legal status.

This group finds itself increasingly reliant on UNRWA support.

UNRWA added that since the armed conflict in Syria began, the UK has contributed more than $93 million to support UNRWA efforts in response to the ensuing regional crisis.

The agency is appealing for $415 million to meet the minimum needs of Palestine refugees affected by the Syria crisis in 2015.

So far this year, the international community has pledged $209.6 million towards the Agency’s 2015 Syria Emergency Appeal, representing 50.5% percent of the total amount requested.