The World Food Programme

A woman picks up a food parcel and blanket at an UNRWA distribution point in Rural Damascus.

©UNRWA/Syria/2018/Baraa al-Alem

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)


UNRWA has been active in Syria since it started its field operations in 1950.  The Agency provides relief, human development and protection services to Palestine refugees; those who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict, and persons displaced by the 1967 hostilities.  Interventions in Syria include provision of cash assistance, water and sanitation, food and non-food items, shelter, health, education, livelihoods, microfinance and protection.


Since the onset of the crisis in Syria, UNRWA has stepped up its operations to ensure the needs of Palestine refugees in the country are met.  The Agency is the main provider of humanitarian assistance, protection and basic services to 438,000 Palestine refugees who remain in the country; and who have been among those worst affected by the crisis, with almost 60% displaced at least once.  UNRWA provides over 400,000 Palestine refugees with cash assistance – making this programme one of the largest in an active conflict setting anywhere in the world – as well as food baskets, covering one third of their caloric needs.  All Palestine refugees in Syria rely on UNRWA for basic health care.  UNRWA operates 104 schools, which educate 47,000 children, and provides WASH services to the accessible Palestinian camps in Syria – there are nine official camps and three unofficial camps in the country.  In Lebanon and Jordan, UNRWA provides health care, education and cash assistance to cover the basic needs of 50,000 Palestine refugees from Syria.


UNRWA has 4,000 staff, including doctors, teachers and engineers, operating at 219 UNRWA facilities across the country, and delivering services directly to refugees.

Since February 2017, Mohammed Abdi Adar has served as the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria.


List of links


List of useful documents/ and links to these documents

UNRWA Achievements and Highlights 2017

Syria Regional Crisis Emergency Appeal 2018