Syria crisis response update (Issue 64), 25 November 2013

REGIONAL OVERVIEW

Conflict is increasingly encroaching on UNRWA camps with shelling and clashes continuing to take place in and nearby them. A reported 29 Palestine Refugees (PR) were killed in the last 2 weeks as a result. UNRWA estimates over 50% of registered PR are displaced in Syria or in neighbouring countries.

Approximately 235,000 refugees are displaced in Syria with over 200,000 in Damascus, around 6,600 in Aleppo, 4,500 in Latakia, 3,050 in Hama, 6,450 in Homs and 13,100 in Dera’a. 10,487 PR from Syria (PRS) have registered with UNRWA for assistance in Jordan and 50,300 in Lebanon. Reports of 6,000 PRS in Egypt, 1,100 in Libya, 1,000 in Gaza and numbers in Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

SITUATION SUMMARY

Despite considerable challenges UNRWA is continuing to deliver emergency relief, health and education services to PR across Syria.
Intermittent and sporadic hostilities including shelling and mortars continued in and around the camps of Yarmouk, Sbeineh, Barzeh, Jobar, Qaboun and Dera’a. A total 29 PR were reportedly killed as a result: 21 in Yarmouk, 1 in Yalda and 7 in Dera’a, an increase from previous weeks.

YARMOUK AND SBEINEH CAMPS continue to be sealed off. UNRWA is gravely concerned about an estimated 20,000 PR trapped in Yarmouk amid continuing intensive armed conflict. All access points remain sealed with reports of malnutrition among children and the elderly as a result of severe food shortages. UNRWA made food deliveries to several dozen families but was forced to again halt operations due to an upsurge in conflict. The Agency is continuing to stand by with assistance if arrangements can be made with the parties to the conflict to deliver aid safely. See http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/official-statements/unrwa-demands-humanita...

POLIO: UNRWA participating in a national immunisation campaign targeting polio, measles, mumps and rubella in cooperation with Ministry of Health and UNICEF. The Agency has increased polio surveillance among PR and no cases have been detected so far.

All area offices and Syria Field Office in Damascus operational all week with most staff attending. 8 staff members have been killed, 20 staff are currently detained or reported missing and 15 injured. 22 UNRWA vehicles have been stolen and not accounted for. Two staff members were injured due to ongoing hostilities in the period and a staff member and truck delivering food baskets to IDP centres was detained with the truck still not released

Displacement

UNRWA is sheltering 7,983 (-117 from the previous report) displaced PR and Syrians in 18 Agency facilities in Syria of which 84%, 6,706 are PR (see table 1). There has been a slow decline in the number of PR and Syrian IDPs in UNRWA facilities since August. A further 3,649 (-342 from the previous report) PR are being sheltered in 13 non-UNRWA facilities in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia. Nearly 18,000 PR have been identified by UNRWA in Hama, Homs and Latakia having fled from Damascus and Aleppo.