The UNRWA Health Department is leading on the Agency’s COVID-19 response and issues a daily UNRWA COVID-19 email newsletter with the latest epidemiological figures and highlights from the fields’ health programmes activities.
UNRWA programmes in support of 5.6 million Palestine refugees are being adapted to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health, relief, distribution and sanitation teams are on the front line responding to the immediate needs of the most vulnerable refugees.
Under the emergency appeals and social safety net programme food and cash assistance is being provided for 1.8 million refugees, as planned. All 709 UNRWA schools, 8 vocational/educational training centres and 2 ESF/FESA remain closed (in line with host government decisions) affecting 533,342 school students, 8,270 VTC trainees and 1,840 university students. To ensure the continuation of students’ access to quality, inclusive, and equitable educacation, the longstanding UNRWA Education in Emergency (EiE) programme has been reconceptualised in order to better respond to the challenging COVID-19 context.
The Microfinance Department’s 4-month loan repayment deferment, starting April, will be reviewed monthly and no new loans are currently being provided.
All shelter maintenance/ rehabilitation activities and construction works are suspended (except those related to COVID-19 responses).
By 22 April 2020, 73,000 families in the Gaza Strip had received food baskets under a new home delivery modality. This involved weeks of redesigning the food distribution system away from often overcrowded distribution centres to help safeguard the health and welfare of refugees and staff. Monitoring and evaluation was carried out and follow-up is being done where there were issues around delivery. A lessons learned exercise is in progress.