Syria crisis situation update (Issue 61), 19 October 2013

REGIONAL OVERVIEW

Conflict is increasingly encroaching on UNRWA camps with shelling and clashes continuing to take place in and nearby a number of them. A reported 4 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. 9,218 PR from Syria (PRS) have registered with UNRWA for assistance in Jordan and 47,000 in Lebanon. UNRWA tracks reports of 6,000 PRS in Egypt, 1,100 in Libya, 1,000 in Gaza, numbers Turkey and UNHCR reports up to 1000 fled to 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 continued in and around the camps of Yarmouk, Sbeineh, Douma and Qabr Essit, Barzeh, Jobar and Qaboun. 1 PR was reportedly killed in Yarmouk as a result, 2 in Darayya and 1 in Khan Eshieh as a result of shelling.

  • Yarmouk and Sbeineh camps continue to be sealed off with UNRWA increasingly concerned about the well-being of those trapped.

  • All 4 Area Offices and Syria Field Office in Damascus operational all week with most staff attending. 8 staff members killed in the conflict, 18 staff currently detained or reported missing and 14 staff injured.

  • 21 UNRWA vehicles stolen and not accounted for.

  • UNRWA has activated several emergency preparedness measures in response to the current situation to ensure the safety and security of its staff, continuity of operations and contingency for different situations. International staff remain in Damascus and, at this stage, the Agency does not plan any reduction or suspension of humanitarian operations

Displacement

UNRWA is sheltering 8,291 (-215 from the previous report) displaced PR and Syrians in 18 Agency facilities in Syria. 86% of these, 7,130 are PR (see table 1). There has been a slight decline in the number of PR and Syrian IDPs in UNRWA shelters since August but it remains well over 8,000. A further 3,946 (-22 from the previous report) PR are being sheltered in 14 non-UNRWA facilities in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia. Nearly 18,000 PR have been identified or approached UNRWA having fled from other areas:

  • 3,004 in Hama Camp from Yarmouk and Ein El Tal;

  • 6,420 in Homs Camp having fled Aleppo, Damascus and Homs countryside; and

  • 4,318 in Latakia camp having fled from Yarmouk and Ein El Tal.