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Another Tragic Explosive Remnants of War Incident Kills Palestine Refugee Child In Aleppo
A ten-year-old Palestine refugee boy tragically lost his life when an explosive remnant of War (ERW) he was tampering with exploded on 16 August in the Masaken Hanano neighbourhood of Aleppo, in the north of Syria.
Several similar tragic ERW incidents have killed or heavily impacted Palestine refugee children in Syria over the last year. Last March, a 17-year-old Palestine refugee also lost his life to an ERW in the old city of Aleppo. In August 2021, seven Palestine refugee boys between the ages of 10 and 14 were playing in the heavily damaged Ein el Tal Camp in Aleppo, when a nearby ERW exploded, injuring them all and killing one of them. A few weeks ago, an UNRWA school student was killed by an ERW in Dera’a.
Recreational activities are scarce for children in Syria, and Palestine refugee children who were in contact with ERW had often ventured into contaminated areas to play. Children are particularly vulnerable to these deadly explosions as they often mistake ERW or unexploded ordnance for toys, unaware of the risks.
ERW remain a source of danger for many people in Syria, particularly in areas that witnessed heavy fighting during the conflict. UNRWA urgently reiterates the need to mark, clear, remove and destroy ERW in areas where people are returning. Humanitarian demining in contaminated areas must be a priority, and UNRWA continues to prioritize ERW awareness raising in all its schools and within communities, particularly also amongst Palestine refugees who live in or voluntarily return to the heavily affected Ein el Tal, Yarmouk and Dera’a camps.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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