“When Yarmouk was under siege, we took refuge in an UNRWA collective shelter in Jaramana camp, near Damascus. We stayed there for a year and then moved to Hazeh, on the outskirts of the city. I will never forget those painful times,” recalls Um Haytham, a 39-year-old Palestinian refugee who was displaced from Yarmouk 11 years ago.
Recently divorced, Um Haytham now lives with her retired father, mother and widowed sister in a rented apartment in Hazeh. “Nobody in our house works and our financial situation is very difficult. My father’s pension is not enough to cover our basic daily needs,” Um Haytham said. The high cost of living has made it increasingly difficult for Palestinian refugees in Syria, like Um Haytham and her family, to make ends meet. years, they have become increasingly dependent on UNRWA humanitarian aid and other basic services to survive.
“UNRWA provides us with high quality services for which my family and I are very grateful. Cash assistance is crucial and helps us cover some of our basic needs in these difficult times,” added Um Haytham. Although she is grateful for the cash assistance provided by the Agency, she hopes for a marked increase in the amount of assistance to help “I suffer from depression and I take medication. In addition to covering the food needs of Basically, cash assistance from UNRWA is the only source of income that helps me pay for my medicine and feel better. This assistance maintains our dignity,” Um Haytham explained.
In Syria, UNRWA provides cash assistance to approximately 145,000 Palestinian refugees belonging to the most vulnerable categories to help them meet their basic needs. This response is made possible through contributions from key partners such as the European Union (EU) supporting the Agency’s emergency response. Since 2012, the EU has contributed more than €35 million in humanitarian funding to the Agency’s emergency appeal for Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.