UNRWA Syria crisis situation update,(Issue 25)

24 December 2012

Note: Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will disseminate information about the situation of Palestine refugees in Syria.

 24  December 2012

News reports quoted Zakarai al-Agha, Director-General of the refugee department at the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as saying, "We have asked the Syrian authorities not to let Palestinians be drawn into the conflict”.He was also quoted as saying that over 700 Palestinians have been killed in the Syria conflict. UNRWA is not in a position to confirm this number.

Yarmouk - The volatile atmosphere at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus continues with reports of ongoing clashes and shelling, in addition to reports of sniper activity, when many are attempting to return to their homes. All UNRWA facilities in Yarmouk remain closed.

Damascus Training Centre - UNRWA’s Damascus Training Centre (DTC) continues to house internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are utilising all of the Centre’s classrooms and dormitories. The IDP’s are receiving two meals a day prepared by the Centre’s staff. An UNRWA medical doctor and a nurse remain at the Centre’s clinic and are treating medical cases there. Because the DTC is filled to capacity, additional IDPs are being re-directed to UNRWA schools in the surrounding areas, including in Mezzeh, Jaramanah, Khan Dunoun, Ellianss and Khan Eshieh.

The situation around UNRWA’s Field Office in the Syrian capital remains tense as mortar fire and shelling continues. Despite the tense situation, the Field Office continues its cash distribution, serving an average of 400 beneficiaries a day. The majority of UNRWA Field Office staff, many of whom are residents of Yarmouk who are now sheltering at the Damascus Training Centre with their families, continue to report to duty.

The situation is calm at UNRWA’s Mezzeh, Ellianss and Dumer schools, and facilities in each camp are hosting IDPs.

Although Jaramanah is calm during the day, there are unconfirmed reports of an explosion in the afternoon yesterday. Khan Dunoun is also calm and thus far, schools and health centres at both camps are operational. Jobar is also apparently calm, but only schools in the camp are operational.

At Rukn Al Deen and Barzah, the situation is calm with one school operating at each camp. According to reports, Qaboun is also relatively calm with small clashes, but facilities continue to be closed. Sit Zainab is also calm but sounds of clashes around the camp can be heard. The health centre is operating for staff living there.

There have been reports of clashes and shelling around Sbeineh, although the camp itself was calm and schools and health centres continue their operations for staff living there.

In Husseiniyah, explosions and shelling continue with reports of one woman killed and several others injured. All facilities are closed except for the health centre.

At Khan Eshieh, there have been unconfirmed reports of explosions followed by clashes at the entrance of the city. The fighting occurred close to an UNRWA health centre and a school where IDPs are sheltering.

The city of Aleppo and surrounding areas are generally calm with sporadic clashes and explosions. Despite the fact that there was no electricity or water in most parts of the city. UNRWA operations in and around the city continued. Cash distribution to beneficiaries continues with some 200 families receiving assistance each day.

UNRWA facilities in Dera’a city continue to operate and both the city and camp are relatively clam. UNRWA staff continues to distribute cash to beneficiaries, serving a total of 200 families a day.  
 

 

 --Ends--
To read more detailed information about events throughout the country, sign up to receive weekly updates on our humanitarian response in Syria at www.unrwa.org/syria.
Click here to read the latest UNRWA statement on the humanitarian crisis in Yarmouk published on 17 December.
Click here to read about UNRWA’s emergency response in the last situation report published on 16 December.
Click here to read a profile of Yarmouk describing the scope of UNRWA’s work there before the outbreak of recent hostilities.
Click here to read about UNRWA’s regular work in Syria.
 

Background information:

As the Syria conflict and its impact on civilians continue to escalate, UNRWA continues to exert all efforts to respond to the humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees. The Agency is monitoring the situation as it evolves, and its staff will continue to assess the situation and render any needed assistance.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency‘s General Fund, supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit.
 
For more information, please contact:
Sami Mshasha

UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724
s.mshasha@unrwa.org 

 

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