Bureij camp

Bureij refugee camp is a comparatively small refugee camp located in the middle of the Gaza Strip. The camp is near Maghazi and Nuseirat refugee camps.

Bureij camp was built in the 1950s to house approximately 13,000 refugees who until then had lived in British army barracks and tents. The refugees who settled in Bureij had mostly come from Palestinian towns east of Gaza, such as Falouja.

Bureij camp, Gaza Strip. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam


The blockade on Gaza has made life more difficult for most camp residents. Unemployment levels have risen dramatically and fewer families can provide for themselves, leaving a staggering proportion of the population dependent on UNRWA food assistance.


Bureij camp is located close to Wadi Gaza, an open sewage pond from which raw sewage flows directly into the sea. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, up to 80,000 cubic metres of raw or partially treated sewage are pumped out to the ocean in Gaza each day, resulting in serious environmental health risks, including watery and bloody diarrhea among refugee children.

In the camp, 90 per cent of the water is unfit for human consumption.

  • Nine school buildings, of which six are single-shift and six operate on double shifts, accommodating 12 schools in total
  • One food distribution centre shared with Nuseirat refugee camp
  • One health centre
  • One area relief and social services office
  • One maintenance and sanitation office
  • Electricity cuts
  • High unemployment
  • High population density
  • Lack of availability of construction materials
  • Contaminated water supply and proximity to Wadi Gaza

Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Bureij camp. Shelters are built in close vicinity and there is a general lack of recreational and social space. In many cases, residents have had to add extra floors to their shelters to accommodate their families, in some cases without proper design. Many live in substandard conditions.


We provide services in 8 Palestine refugee camps in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA does not administer or police the camps, as this is the responsibility of the host authorities.