Syria crisis situation update (Issue 51)

18 June 2013
Weekly Donors’ Report 16 June 2013
UNRWA continues to deliver essential services and emergency assistance in a challenging environment characterized by unpredictable and repeated displacement of refugees, damage to UNRWA facilities and detention of staff in Syria. The Agency now requires a total of USD 199.4 million to respond to growing needs in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. USD 150 million of this figure will be used to provide urgent humanitarian assistance inside Syria. At least 44,000 refugee homes have been damaged by conflict, and over half of all registered Palestine refugees are now displaced, either within Syria or to neighbouring countries. Approximately 235,000 refugees are displaced within Syria and a further 69,343 have approached UNRWA for assistance in Lebanon and Jordan. UNRWA is also tracking reports of Palestine refugees from Syria in Egypt, Turkey and Gaza.
UNRWA facilities have also been damaged, and 57 schools and 11 health centres require urgent repairs. 13 Agency staff are currently being detained or have been reported missing, and 21 Agency vehicles have also been stolen. Approximately 8,300 refugees are currently being provided shelter in 19 UNRWA facilities, and many more are being provided accommodation in refugee camp communities.
  • Intensive shelling of Khan Eshieh camp resulted in damage to an UNRWA school housing 172 displaced refugees. Three shells landed in the camp without any casualties.
  • Total of 8,279 IDPs in 19 UNRWA facilities across the country as of 10 June. 82% of IDPs are Palestine refugees. 7,900 displaced refugees are in 12 Damascus facilities alone. The Agency is also providing regular food and NFI assistance to 4,186 refugees in non-UNRWA facilities in Aleppo, Lattakia and Damascus.
  • One staff member was detained by security forces this week. The staff member, a school attendant, had been travelling back from Lattakia to Damascus when he was detained at a checkpoint. There are currently 13 staff members being detained by security forces, kidnapped or missing.
  • Two trucks carrying UNRWA food and non-food items were detained in Damascus this week, close to the Field Office, with one truck and its driver still being held by security forces. A third UNRWA truck which had previously been detained by security forces whilst delivering food parcels to Hama has now been released.
  • Damage to two health centres in Yarmouk and Dera’a confirmed, with extensive damage in the latter, which has been closed since January 2013 due to hostilities and access difficulties for patients and staff. The health centre in Mzerieb was also burgled this week, with two transformers and one battery missing.
  • Dera’a Area Office has been closed all week due to hostilities in the area. Staff have been working from alternative locations, including the health centre, sanitation offices and warehouse.
Humanitarian Response
 Alternative arrangements have been provided for students taking their end of year exams. In Damascus and Aleppo, Grade 9 and 12 students from conflict areas have been provided with accommodation and alternative exam locations where their regular schools were closed. Psychosocial support was also provided to children sitting their exams, in addition to hygiene kits, food parcels and cash assistance of 5,000 SYP. Grade 9 exams ended on 30 May and Grade 12 students are still sitting their exams, which officially end on 18 June. 4,846 students in Grades 1-8 have now signed up for catch-up classes to be conducted over the summer, and they will take their end of year exams in August.
Displacement as of 10 June
UNRWA estimates that there are currently 235,000 internally displaced refugees, with over 200,000 in Damascus alone, 6,600 in Aleppo, 3,800 in Lattakia, 3,000 in Hama, 6,500 in Homs and 13,100 in Dera’a. A further 73,943 have approached UNRWA for support in neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Gaza. There are also reports from UNHCR that up to 1,000 refugees have fled to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
4,186 Palestine refugees have now been located at 12 non-UNRWA IDP facilities in Damascus, Aleppo and Lattakia, and UNRWA is providing regular food, NFIs and health services to them. 3,004 Palestine refugees have been identified in Hama Camp, having come from Yarmouk and Ein el Tal. 6,420 refugees have made themselves known to UNRWA in Homs Camp, having fled from Aleppo, Damascus and Homs countryside. 4,318 refugees have made themselves known to UNRWA in Lattakia, having fled from Yarmouk and Ein el Tal (Total: 17,928). UNRWA continues to provide regular food and NFI assistance to all displaced refugees who have approached the Agency.

Damascus Training Centre
Damascus (Jaramana Camp)
Damascus (Mezzeh)
Damascus (Khan Eshieh Camp)*
Damascus (Ramadan Camp)
Damascus (Dummar)
Damascus (Rukn Eddin)
Damascus (Khan Dannoun Camp)
*Two of the four IDP shelters in Khan Eshieh have now been merged, and full breakdown of data is still being calculated.
Area summary
Damascus / Rif Damascus: Hostilities subsided somewhat in the past week, with the exception of East Ghouta and Barzeh, which continue to see intensive clashes and shelling. Otherwise, sporadic shelling continues around most UNRWA camps, including Sbeineh, Khan Eshieh, Yarmouk and Husseiniyeh. One refugee died in Yarmouk on Thursday following an attempted self-immolation. The situation in the camp remains dire, with access heavily limited and shelling this week causing extensive damage to the Yarmouk health centre, which has been closed since January 2013 due to ongoing hostilities in the area. Sbeineh Camp continues to be completely cut off, and access to several other camps is severely restricted.
A contractor truck transporting hygiene kits to Khan Dannoun Camp was this week detained at a checkpoint close to the Field Office in Mezzeh, and both the driver, truck and contents are still being held. A similar incident was reported the day before, but in that instance the vehicle was only detained for few hours. 13 UNRWA staff are currently being detained by security forces, or have been reported missing or kidnapped. There were also reports of an IED detonating close to the Area Office this week, presumably targeting a passing vehicle. No staff were injured.
Aleppo: Intensive hostilities continued around the city this week, but the Area Office remains operational. Ein el Tal remains empty of refugees, and is presumably still occupied by opposition groups. There are reports of sporadic clashes around Neirab Camp, particularly next to the adjacent airport, but the camp remains relatively calm and accessible, with all facilities operational.
Dera’a: Intensive shelling of the south of the town and UNRWA camp resulted in the continued closure of the Area Office, with staff again working out of the engaging youth centre, health centre, sanitation office and warehouse facilities. Mzerieb and Jillien villages remain accessible, but sporadic shelling has continued in the surrounding areas. This week medical staff reported that the health centre in Mzerieb had been burgled, with two transformers and a battery missing. The border remains technically open on the Syrian side, but access is almost impossible due to insecurity in the border area. Hostilities also continued around the main highway to Damascus, with very little traffic using the road.
Homs: Occasional airstrikes and shelling were reported in the south of the city, but the camp remained calm with all facilities operational. One refugee who had previously been reported missing from the camp, presumably detained, was found dead elsewhere in the city. This week an UNRWA truck which had previously been detained whilst transporting food parcels to Hama was released by security forces. The driver was released last week. UNDSS temporarily suspended all official travel to Homs from Damascus at the start of the week as a result of clashes around the main highway.
Hama:  The town and camp remained relatively quiet over the reporting period and all facilities remained operational. There are now 48 displaced refugees being accommodated in UNRWA facilities in Hama Camp.
Lattakia: The situation remains calm and UNRWA continues to deliver services, in addition to providing shelter to 206 displaced refugees from Ein el Tal in its facilities. Further rounds of cash assistance will be distributed to displaced refugees next week.
Palestine Refugees from Syria in Lebanon
There are now approximately 62,000 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) in Lebanon, equivalent to 18,300 families. The majority of PRS are located in Saida (31%), with the remainder in Beqaa (21%), Beirut area (17%), Tyre (17%) and the north (14%).
Cash assistance
UNRWA will be distributing cash to all registered refugees in Lebanon from 17 to 22 June. Distributions will take place in all areas of the country. Cash for housing will be provided at a rate of LBP 200,000 (USD 133) to families of 1-3 persons, and families of four or more will receive LBP 300,000 (USD 200). Cash for food will be distributed at a rate of LBP 50,000 (USD 33) per person.
Palestine Refugees from Syria in Jordan
As of 5 June 2013, UNRWA has recorded 1,837 families (7,543 individuals) of Palestine Refugees from Syria (PRS) of concern to the Agency. Currently, 197 Palestinians reside in Cyber City, the government appointed facility in Irbid governorate.      
651 students are attending UNRWA schools.
Health Services
Between 1 January and 30 May 2013, Palestinian refugees from Syria made 6,293 visits to UNRWA clinics across the Kingdom.