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UK to provide $25 million to UNRWA to assist Palestinian refugees in Syria and abroad

January 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

The British embassy in Amman announced that the United Kingdom will provide $25 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support Palestinian refugees in Syria as well as those who have been forced to flee to the neighbouring countries because of the ongoing conflict.

Britain’s Minister for International Development Alan Duncan revealed in a statement published on Monday that the UK will provide 15.5 million pounds, about 25 million US dollars, to UNRWA, which in turn will send vital aid to Palestinian refugees in Syria and to those refugees who have had to flee their homes, once again, to seek refuge in the neighbouring countries as a result of the fighting in Syria.

In the statement, Duncan noted that: “Having fled once to seek safety in Syria, tens of thousands of Palestinians now find that they must again leave behind everything they know as a result of conflict, abandoning the new lives that they have struggled to build. Palestinians are increasingly caught in the middle of the fighting in Syria. Shelling and clashes are taking place around and even inside refugee camps, and at least 44,000 refugees’ homes have been damaged or destroyed. The double tragedy these refugees face must not become a forgotten footnote to this war. The support the UK has announced will help to save lives amongst some of the most vulnerable.”

The British Minister hopes that the support “will send a clear message to Palestinian refugees caught up in the Syria crisis that the world has not forgotten their plight.”

According to the statement, the support will include providing food products for more than 155,000 people and cash to a similar number who can use it to purchase basic materials, including clothing and food, as well as to pay the bills for them and their families.

Palestinian refugees in Syria, who numnber around 500,000, have largely remained on the sidelines of the Syrian conflict, however some of them joined the battles in December 2012 despite appeals by the regime and international organizations to avoid the confrontations.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Syria have been displaced to the neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. The Palestinian refugees who attempt to flee Syria face tougher restrictions than Syrians in a conflict which has now claimed the lives of more than 115,000 people.