Dera'a refugee camp is located north of Dera’a City and is locally divided into three parts: northern, emergency and old. Palestinian refugees came to the Dera’a area in two waves in 1948 and in 1967.
The older part of the camp, which is next to the town of Dera'a near the Jordanian border, was established in 1950-51 for refugees from the northern and eastern parts of Palestine following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. The camp was set up on an area of 0.04 square kilometers.
Next to the old camp is the newer part, which was set up in 1967 for some 4,200 Palestine refugees who were forced to leave the Quneitra Governorate in the Golan following the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict.
The whole camp is set up on an area of 1.3 square kilometers and is surrounded by the wholesale-vegetable marketplace, Dera’a national museum and al-Basel Park from the north, Dera’a industrial area from the east, al-Zaidi Valley from the south and by government premises and Central marketplace from the west.
The camp is situated in a fertile area and many residents are farm workers on Syrian-owned lands. Others are employed as wage labourers, government workers and a few as UNRWA staff. About 10,500 Palestine refugees live in the camp and more than 17.500 Palestine refugees live in neighbouring Syrian villages.
UNRWA also runs six schools and a health centre in the neighbouring villages of Jillin and Muzeireeb.
The Agency is currently looking for funding to repair and expand the sewage system in the camp. The old cement pipes used for the sewage system are broken, causing water to seep under the houses, destroying numerous shelters. Improving environmental conditions remains one of Dera'a’s most urgent needs.
- More than 10,000 registered refugees, with 17,000 more in surrounding villages
- One single-shift schools
- One food distribution centre
- Two health centres
- One women’s programme centre
- One kindergarten
- One community-based rehabilitation centre
- One Engaging Youth centre
- Demographic profile:
Programmes in the camp
- Shortage of drinking water in summer
- Lack of a proper sewage system
- High rate of school dropouts and child labour
- Child labour
- Overcrowded households
- Crowded houses lack ventilation
- Drug addiction