Latakia (unofficial camp*)

As of 1 January 2019       

UNRWA installations in Latakia camp, located on the Mediterranean coast, have been unaffected by the conflict.  © 2018 UNRWA Photo
UNRWA installations in Latakia camp, located on the Mediterranean coast, have been unaffected by the conflict. © 2018 UNRWA Photo
Latakia camp is an "unofficial" camp located within the city boundaries of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast. The camp was established in 1955-1956 on an area of 0.22 square kilometers. Most of the refugees originally came from the city of Jaffa and villages in northern Palestine.

Before the start of conflict in 2011, the camp was home to 10,000 Palestine refugees. It is estimated that 2,000 Palestine refugees have left the country. The camp has been largely unaffected by the hostilities, meaning that it has become a safe haven for Palestine refugees from Aleppo, Yarmouk and other places. Currently there are 14,000 Palestine refugees living in and around Latakia.  This has increased demands on UNRWA services. I in response UNRWA has deployed additional staff.

UNRWA installations have been largely unaffected. In 2013, the Department of Microfinance opened a branch in Latakia after it was forced to close offices in the Damascus area.

Despite its status as an unofficial camp, UNRWA started to pay for garbage collection in Latakia camp in 2015. This has significantly improved environmental health and the situation in the camp is considerably better than in surrounding areas. UNRWA has also collaborated with the municipality to fix lighting in the camp.

Residents of the camp are mostly civil servants or employed in shops. Fishing also provides a small income for many refugees.

Like other areas in Syria, displacement, unemployment, inflation, protection and security risks are among the main concerns shared by Palestine refugees and Syrians alike. Increasing poverty and hardship as a direct consequence of the ongoing crisis in Syria has led to an increase of negative coping mechanisms like early marriage, child labour and drug consumption. UNRWA has increased its efforts to carry out preventative and awareness-raising activities through its schools and community centres.

UNRWA installations:
  • Four double-shift schools in two buildings
  • One food distribution centre
  • One health centre
  • One community centre
  • One vocational training centre
  • One microfinance office
 Programmes in the camp:
  • Emergency assistance
  • Education
  • Vocational training
  • Health
  • Relief and Social Services
  • Microfinance
  • Sanitation

*A number of so-called unofficial refugee camps were established over time by the host governments to provide accommodation for Palestine refugees. In all respects, refugees in official and unofficial camps have equal access to UNRWA services, except that UNRWA is not responsible for solid waste collection in the unofficial camps


We provide services in 12 Palestine refugee camps in Syria. UNRWA does not administer or police the camps, as this is the responsibility of the host authorities.