A man and woman walk inside a former Palestinian refugee camp in the southern city of Deraa, Syria June 18, 2017. (Reuters)
Water has been cut off across residential neighborhoods in Deraa camp for Palestinian refugees, south of Syria, for ten days running, according to local sources.
The residents warned of the repercussions of the water crisis on their children’s health condition in light of the global propagation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the families sheltered in the camp are cash-stripped and cannot afford to buy potable water from privately-owned tanks.
Palestinian families continue to appeal to UNRWA and the Water Company to take urgent action regarding the alarming humanitarian condition in the camp.
All the way through Syria’s ten-year conflict, residents of Daraa Camp for Palestinian refugees, south of Syria, have been grappling with dire humanitarian conditions owing to the high rates of unemployment and absence of vital facilities.
Civilians continue to sound distress signals over the absence of health services and life-saving medical kit. Most of the clinics and medical centers in the area have gone out of operation in the warfare.
UN data indicates that Palestinian refugees came to the Deraa area in two waves in 1948 and in 1967.
Deraa camp and its surroundings returned to government control in the summer of 2018. The camp is now largely destroyed. UNRWA was able to return to Deraa camp in November 2018 to conduct a needs assessment. Inside Deraa camp, all premises including three school buildings and a clinic need substantial repairs or complete rebuilding.
Deraa camp was home to 10,500 Palestine refugees before 2011. As of November 2018, 400 Palestine refugee families have returned since the camp returned to government hands. As of February 2020, some 800 families had returned to Daraa camp and 750 students to the UNRWA schools, according to UNRWA.
The older part of the camp was established in 1950-51 for refugees from the northern and eastern parts of Palestine following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. Next to the old camp is the newer part, which was set up in 1967 for some 4,200 Palestine refugees who were forced to leave the Quneitra Governorate in the Golan following the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict.