Syria crisis situation update (Issue 59), 6 September 2013


Conflict is increasingly encroaching on UNRWA camps with shelling and clashes continuing to take place in and nearby a number of camps. A reported 3 Palestine Refugees (PR) were killed this week as a result. UNRWA estimates over 50% of registered PR are displaced either in Syria or to 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. Approximately 45,000 PR from Syria (PRS) are receiving assistance in Lebanon and 8,833 PRS have registered with UNRWA for assistance in Jordan. UNRWA tracks reports of PRS in Egypt, Turkey, Gaza and UNHCR reports up to 1,000 fled to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

1. Situation summary

· Despite considerable challenges UNRWA is continuing to deliver emergency relief, health and education services to PR across Syria.

· Intermittent hostilities continued in and around Yarmouk refugee camp with airstrikes over the weekend. Several shells impacted inside the camp reportedly causing the death of 1 PR. 2 PR were also reportedly found killed as a result of hostilities in Qabr Essit the previous week.

· 1 staff member robbed in Damascus. Six international UNRWA staff temporarily relocated outside Syria.

· Increased restrictions for PRS to enter Lebanon.

· All 4 Area Offices and Syria Field Office in Damascus operational all week with most staff attending.

· 8 staff members killed in the conflict, 15 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


UNRWA is sheltering 8,654 individuals in 19 Agency facilities (no change from last week). 85% of these, 7,356 are PR (see table 1). UNRWA is continuing to shelter some of the highest numbers of IDPs in its facilities since the start of the year. A further 4,033 PR (+111 from last week) are being sheltered in 14 non-UNRWA facilities in Aleppo, Latakia and Damascus. Nearly 18,000 PR have also been identified or approached UNRWA in camps 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.