Syria crisis response update (Issue 65), 12 December 2013
Conflict is increasingly encroaching on UNRWA camps with shelling and clashes continuing to take place in and nearby them. A reported 23 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 270,000 PR are displaced in Syria: 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. 10,687 PR from Syria (PRS) have registered with UNRWA in Jordan and 51,000 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.
Despite considerable challenges UNRWA is continuing to deliver emergency relief, health and education services to PR across Syria.
2 staff members were killed in Dera’a and Damascus. So far in the conflict 10 staff members have been killed, 19 are currently detained or reported missing and 16 injured. 22 UNRWA vehicles have been stolen and not accounted for. Stray bullets fell inside the UNRWA compound in Damascus and ammunition rounds impacted UNRWAs office in Aleppo but without injury or damage.
Intermittent and sporadic hostilities including shelling and mortars continued in and around the camps of Yarmouk, Sbeineh, Barzeh, Jobar, Qaboun and Dera’a. 23 PR were reportedly killed as a result: 6 in Yarmouk, 1 in Yalda 2 in Adra, 1 in the Ummyad Mosque, 3 in Neirab and 10 in Dera’a. This is a decrease on previous weeks but was more spread throughout Syria.
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 continues 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 is participating in national immunisation campaign targeting polio, measles, mumps and rubella in cooperation with Ministry of Health and UNICEF. The Agency has increased polio surveillance and no cases have been detected among PR so far. In cooperation with Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC), UNRWA delivered 2000 polio vaccine doses to Yarmouk.
A mission to Qabr Essit camp was conducted on 29 November and initial assessment of damage to UNRWA facilities made. A second mission to deliver assistance will be made when security permits.
All area offices and Syria Field Office in Damascus operational all week with most staff attending.