Activists Call on UNRWA to Take Urgent Action Regarding Yarmouk Camp

Activists Call on UNRWA to Take Urgent Action Regarding Yarmouk Camp

A woman standing in front of the rubble of her destroyed house in the Yarmouk Camp - 2018 (Yarmouk Camp News)

Activists have called on UNRWA to take urgent steps in order to help with the rehabilitation of Yarmouk Camp for Palestinian refugees and the reconstruction of vital facilities.

Activists said UNRWA should seriously and urgently work on reconstructing its schools and clinics in the camp which were destroyed in the warfare.

UN data indicates that before the eruption of the conflict in 2011, Yarmouk was home to approximately 160,000 Palestine refugees, making it the largest Palestine refugee community in Syria. Located eight kilometers away from Damascus, it is one of three unofficial camps in Syria.

In December 2012, fierce clashes erupted in Yarmouk, causing numerous civilian casualties, severe damage to property and the displacement of thousands of Palestine refugees and Syrians. The camp was under siege from July 2013, drastically restricting the entry of commercial and humanitarian goods.

In April 2015, armed opposition groups captured over 60 per cent of the camp, containing over 90 per cent of the remaining civilian population. This not only made UNRWA unable to carry out any distributions inside Yarmouk but also displaced most of the remaining 18,000 Palestine refugees and other civilians to the neighboring areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham (YBB).

Almost all the remaining Palestine refugees left during the final government offensive for Yarmouk in April-May 2018, after which the government retook control of the camp.

UNRWA was able to return to the camp to conduct a needs assessment in October 2018.  Of the 23 UNRWA premises in the camp and nearby Hajjar al Aswad, including 16 school buildings, all have been affected by the conflict.

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