Khan Younis Camp

Khan Younis refugee camp is located about two kilometres from the Mediterranean coast, north of Rafah. It lies west of the town of Khan Younis, a major commercial centre and stop-off point on the ancient trade route to Egypt.

Fleeing their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, 35,000 refugees took shelter in the camp. Most were from the Bir Saba’ area.

Khan Younis camp. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam


Life for nearly all refugees in the camp has become increasingly difficult because of the blockade on Gaza, which has caused a dramatic deterioration of socioeconomic conditions, including ever growing unemployment and poverty rates. Fewer and fewer families can provide for themselves, leaving a staggering proportion of the population dependent on UNRWA food and cash assistance. As in other camps across the Gaza Strip, basic hygiene is another big concern with 90 per cent of the camp’s water supply being unfit for human consumption.

  • 16 school buildings, accommodating 19 schools, 13 of which on single-shift and six operating on double shifts schools
  • Two food distribution centres, one of which an UNRWA installation located in the western area, while the other is a rented building the eastern areas of Khan Younis
  • Three health centres
  • Two area relief and social services offices
  • One maintenance and sanitation office
  • Overcrowding
  • Housing shortage
  • High unemployment
  • Access to adequate water and electricity supplies

Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Khan Younis 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. Together with the community, UNRWA has identified and implemented some camp improvement initiatives, including paving of some roads to facilitate the movement of refugees and people with special needs.


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.

Quick Facts

Official camps

Khan Younis camp was established in 1948 to shelter around 35,000 refugees

Unrwa In Khan Younis Camp


16 school buildings, accommodating 19 schoolsو 13 of which on single shift and six operating on double shifts schools

Health Centre

Three health centres provide primary health services, including reproductive health and infant and child care, to refugees in the camp