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Yarmouk Situation Update, 25 April 2015 | Issue No. 21

News and Press Release
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Children receive UNRWA medical assistance, Beit Saham, 2015 © UNRWA

UNRWA continues to seek secure and unhindered access to Yarmouk itself and stands ready to expand the response in the case of further displacement from the area. UNRWA continued humanitarian operations in Yalda and Beit Saham today, including an engineering assessment of collective centres for displaced civilians. Humanitarian activities continue in Tadamoun, to the north-east.


  • UNRWA successfully continued humanitarian response operations today, providing 20,000 litres of drinking water to displaced civilians and host communities in Beit Saham. The mission also provided 1,200 bags of bread.

  • UNRWA medical personnel established a mobile health point, treating 250 patients over the course of the day. Three cases of hepatitis A were detected and treated. Medical personnel detected moderate malnutrition among three out of twenty-four children (under-five) seen, representing a rate of 12.5%. UNRWA also conducted a dental assessment of civilians in Beit Saham and will seek to establish a mobile dental point in the area.

  • UNRWA conducted an engineering assessment of two collective centres for displaced civilians in Yalda for potential upgrade and rehabilitation.

  • Those receiving assistance are comprised of Palestinian and Syrian families displaced or affected by conflict, plus host communities. UNRWA missions deliver a broad range of critical humanitarian materials to each of these families, including food, medical supplies, water purification treatments, mattresses, blankets, family kitchen sets and hygiene kits.

  • UNRWA continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians from Yarmouk who remain displaced in Tadamoun, an area on the north-eastern periphery. The Agency is also providing daily hot lunches for all civilians, complemented by regular distribution of canned food.

  • The UNRWA mission met with local religious and community leaders and in Beit Saham, Yalda and Babila who, in addition to the Syrian authorities, played a critical and welcome role in supporting the humanitarian response.

  • These ongoing operations represent sustained demonstration of UNRWA’s commitment to providing essential assistance to all civilians affected by the crisis in Yarmouk. UNRWA’s priority remains the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians within Yarmouk itself and reiterates its strong demand for all parties to respect and comply with their obligations to protect civilians and to establish of secure conditions under which the Agency can deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance.

  • The vulnerability of civilians in Yarmouk remains of the highest severity. UNRWA is deeply concerned that without access, the most basic humanitarian needs of up to 18,000 Palestinian and Syrian civilians, including 3,500 children, continue to be left unmet.


  • UNRWA mobilized its emergency response team on April 1st to develop a range of response scenarios, including large displacements to areas where UNRWA does not currently have access.

  • UNRWA works closely with partners and UN Agencies to mobilize resources for a large-scale humanitarian response to support the civilians of Yarmouk.

  • UNRWA has prepositioned stocks of food, mattresses, blankets, and hygiene kits to respond in the case of further displacement from Yarmouk.


  • As violence continues to profoundly threaten the lives and safety of Palestine refugees throughout Syria, UNRWA appeals for donors to increase their support to the Agency’s urgent Call for Funds, seeking an immediate injection of $30 million. The UNRWA Syria Crisis Appeal has received only 16% of the funds needed for 2015.

  • The capacity of the Agency to sustain life-saving emergency interventions, whilst responding immediately to urgent developments such as the one impacting Yarmouk since April 1st, is undermined by chronic underfunding for humanitarian interventions inside Syria.

  • More than 95% of Palestine refugees now rely on UNRWA to meet their daily needs of food, water and healthcare.

  • Priority interventions include cash assistance which enables UNRWA to access up to 470,000 Palestine refugees in need, including up to 39,500 currently living in hard to reach areas. This intervention will run out of funding after the distribution of second round of cash assistance in June.

  • Additional funding is also required for critical non-food items including blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits for displaced Palestine refugee families throughout Syria.