Monday, August 16, 2021 (WAFA) - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said it was extremely concerned for
the lives and wellbeing of some 30,000 Palestine refugees registered with the
Agency in south Syria.
third of them used to reside in the Dera’a camp for Palestine refugees before
the conflict, which suffered large-scale destruction as a result of the
hostilities. Recently, a small number of Palestine refugees have returned to
the camp despite the limited availability of services offered to them,
primarily because of lack of alternatives. More than 600 Palestine refugee
families (3,000 individuals) reside in the camp area as of 2021.
clashes in and around Dera’a have caused the displacement of more than half the
families who live inside the camp. The humanitarian conditions of families that
remain inside the camp are dire with reports that most of the medications and
food stocks, including bread are now depleted since the main humanitarian
crossing Saraya was closed on 12 August to vehicles and pedestrians. Water and
electricity are also reportedly completely cut off inside the camp.
clashes in western Dera’a are also affecting Palestine refugees who live there
and limit their access to UNRWA services, especially with the closure of the
UNRWA health clinic in Muzeirib since 1 August.
needs are immense, said UNRWA in a statement, including the demand for
emergency food and non-food items, and people living near the clashes face
increased risks related to contamination by explosive remnants of war.
Displaced families have often moved in with relatives, this adding to their
burden and increasing the risks associated with the spread of COVID-19. Most families are struggling to pay rent or
reside in homes that have been damaged or partially destroyed by hostilities
over the last decade.
have severely impacted the ability of Palestine refugees to move out of Dera’a
camp and have limited their access to UNRWA services usually available in
Dera’a city, including UNRWA cash and food assistance, health services, relief
and social services and protection. Several other UNRWA donor funded projects
in the camp, designed to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable, are also
affected, said UNRWA.
situation has delayed the work needed to prepare for a return of children to
UNRWA schools, whose opening also risks being delayed. It also raises increased
safety concerns for the safety of UNRWA staff working in Dera’a Governorate.
decade-long conflict, most Palestine refugees have been displaced multiple
times. The latest hostilities and shelling in and around Dera’a have
dramatically reduced the ability of UNRWA to continue providing critical
services to a very vulnerable community, it said, urging parties to the
conflict to ensure unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance into the area,
including access to UNRWA services.
crossing point, which allows the passage of people and goods, and that has been
closed since 30 July must remain open to allow Palestine refugees’ access to
basic services, demanded UNRWA. All parties must protect civilians and
safeguard civilian infrastructure, including UNRWA installations in Dera’a