The vast majority of the 540,000 Palestine refugees registered in Syria (PRS) are unable to meet their basic needs.
The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) has called on the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the Palestinian Authority, and all other concerned bodies to immediately intervene in order to enhance the alarming humanitarian situation of the cash-stripped Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Gaza, among other destinations.
“Serious action should be taken by all concerned parties regarding the tragic situation of Palestinian refugees, particularly those in/from Syria”, said AGPS in a statement issued earlier this week.
It said that after nine years of conflict, Palestinian refugees in and from Syria continue to face significant humanitarian and protection needs. In the absence of a durable political settlement, intense hostilities and violence resulting in deaths and injuries, internal displacement, loss of livelihoods, decreases in the provision of public services, and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure have disrupted the lives of civilians and forced thousands to become internally displaced.
The vast majority of the 540,000 Palestine refugees registered in Syria (PRS) are unable to meet their basic needs. Many PRS lost their sources of income; displacement camps have seen unprecedented levels of destruction; rental prices have dramatically gone up; undernourishment and poverty have been a daily nightmare, added the group.
AGPS said that due to the serious protection gaps, children have been forced to drop out of school and join armed groups to help feed their starving families.
Hundreds of families have had women as their sole breadwinners; and in several other cases boys and girls are spotted begging in the street for a few pounds.
Economic hardship forced thousands of PRS to embark on life-threatening journeys to neighboring countries or to try to get to safety to a European destination. Hundreds have died at sea.
The human rights monitor urged the UN and the international community to take urgent steps in order to enhance the socio-economic condition of PRS, safeguard children’s right to moral and physical protection, and prevent child labor and forced military conscription.
It said UNRWA should help create job opportunities and better economic conditions for Palestinian refugees, help reduce poverty and unemployment, work on rehabilitating destroyed camps, and increase aid grants pending the refugees’ safe return to their homeland—Palestine.