OFID extends grant to UNHCR to assist internally displaced Syrians and returnees


One of UNHCR's interventions will rehabilitate two schools and
build capacity for teachers in As-Sweida Governorate. Photo: UNHCR

May 16, 2018, Vienna, Austria. OFID – the OPEC Fund for International Development – has approved a US$500,000 emergency aid grant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help internally displaced Syrians and returnees by improving their access to better health, safe water and education services.

UNHCR continues its wide-ranging work in Syria and despite ongoing conflict, in 2017, an estimated 700,000 internally-displaced Syrians returned to their homes, mostly without assistance from the international community. To ensure that returnees are as safe as possible, UNHCR is helping families and communities that have been severely affected by the crisis.

Planned interventions will rehabilitate a health center and provide medical equipment and supplies in Aleppo; upgrade water supply infrastructure in Quamishli, Al-Hassakeh Governorate; and rehabilitate two schools while building capacity for teachers in As-Sweida Governorate. In all, some 40,000 vulnerable people are expected to benefit.

OFID has enjoyed a long partnership with UNHCR and has supported 14 earlier operations through funding of US$7.35 million. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, OFID has extended 11 emergency grants totaling over US$2.6 million to various implementing agencies – including the International Federation of the Red Cross, Islamic Relief and Care Austria, among others – to help refugees and the internally displaced.