Qabr Essit Camp

UNRWA Dallata/Beit Jibrin reconstructed school in Qabr Essit camp in Rif Damascus© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad.
UNRWA Dallata/Beit Jibrin reconstructed school in Qabr Essit camp in Rif Damascus© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad. 

Qabr Essit camp, 15 km from Damascus, is near the town of Sayyedeh Zeinab (granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammad). Her shrine is at a mosque in the town and is a site of pilgrimage. Qabr Essit camp was established on an area of 0.02 square kilometres in 1948, but the majority of the residents came in 1967. The inhabitants, who were displaced from the Quneitra Governorate in the Golan Heights during the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, sought refuge for the second time in their lives in Qabr Essit. Most had originally fled to the Golan Heights in 1948 from nearby villages in northern Palestine.

Before the conflict in Syria, Qabr Essit was home to 23,700 Palestine refugees. At the start of the conflict, the camp was affected by violent clashes that forced 40 per cent of the people to leave in late 2012. UNRWA installations sustained minor to heavy damages as a result of the clashes.

In late 2013, the situation improved significantly and UNRWA was able to rehabilitate its installations and restore operations. The rehabilitation of UNRWA installations was completed in 2016.

Many refugees who had been displaced from other parts of Damascus have now moved to Qabr Essit and the surrounding area, meaning double the original number of residents are accessing UNRWA services in the camp. In response, UNRWA has increased staff numbers. As of 2021, a total of 16,600 Palestine refugees are residing inside the camp itself. The majority of Palestine refugees in Qabr Essit work as day labourers, government employees or vendors. 

Like in other areas of Syria, displacement, unemployment, inflation, and protection risks are among the main concerns shared by Palestine refugees and Syrians alike. The 10-year-long conflict has led to an increase in negative coping mechanisms, like early marriage, child labour and drug consumption, as well as an increase in violence and psychological problems. UNRWA, despite financial constraints, has enhanced its efforts to do preventative and awareness-raising activities and to provide psychosocial support through its schools and the community centre. The already very dire situation is now compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic decline of the economic situation. If not adequately addressed, poverty and protection concerns will increase and are likely to lead to a further deterioration of the socio-economic situation of the already very vulnerable Palestine refugee community.


  • Two double-shift UNRWA schools
  • One afternoon-shift school in government school
  • One food distribution Centre
  • One health centre
  • One community centre
  • One sanitation office


  • Emergency assistance
  • Health
  • Education
  • Relief and Social Services
  • ICIP/sanitation 
  • Microfinance
  • Protection


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.