Sbeineh Camp

As of 1 January 2019

UNRWA re-habilitated its installations, including 3 schools in Sbeineh camp during 2017 and 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo
UNRWA re-habilitated its installations, including 3 schools in Sbeineh camp during 2017 and 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo
Sbeineh camp is situated beside Sbeineh town, 14km south of Damascus and was established in 1948.   Before the conflict in Syria, the camp was home to 22,600 Palestine refugees.

Sbeineh camp was taken over by armed opposition groups (AOG) in 2013. The camp remained closed to civilians for almost four years and houses and infrastructure were damaged in the fighting. In September 2017, civilians were able to return to their homes.  All UNRWA installations were in need of repairs and UNRWA immediately rehabilitated two of its schools. The school year in Sbeineh opened in October 2017. The Agency also provided support to returning Palestine refugees through water trucking and the removal of rubble from the main streets and lanes.

As of the 2018-2019 school year, there are more than 3,000 children enrolled at six UNRWA schools. The Agency has also rehabilitated the health centre, the community centre and the third school.  More than 13,000 of the original 30,000 residents who used to live in the camp before the crisis have returned to the camp as of December 2018 and another 3000 live in the area around the camp and access UNRWA services in the camp. The whole Palestine population in Sbeineh camp suffered from displacement during the crisis and many families left the country and sought refuge in neighboring countries or fled to Europe.

Previously, the majority of refugees worked in Sbeineh's factories and industrial plants, or as day labourers on Syrian-owned farms. Women often worked as housemaids in Damascus to supplement family income. However, during the conflict, such opportunities have dwindled and the unemployment rate is still very high with very limited financial resources to help Palestine refugees restore their livelihoods. Like other areas in Syria, displacement, inflation, protection and security risks are among the main concerns shared by Palestine refugees and Syrians alike.

The camp is situated on an area of 0.03 square kilometres.  Palestine refugees who came to Syria in 1948 first settled the camp. It also accommodates Palestine refugees who were displaced as a result of the 1967 conflict.

UNRWA installations:
  • Six double-shift schools in three school premises, all rehabilitated in 2017 and 2018
  • One sanitation office (rehabilitated in 2018)
  • One social workers office (rehabilitated in 2018)
  • One food distribution centre (rehabilitated in 2018)
  • One health centre (rehabilitated in 2018)
  • One community centre (rehabilitated in 2018)
Programmes in the camp:
  • Emergency assistance
  • Health
  • Education
  • Relief and social services
  • Sanitation

REFUGEE CAMPS IN Syria

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.