UN relief workers press ahead with effort to reach Yarmouk camp in Syria

23 April 2015

United Nations relief workers today provided drinking water, bread and recreational kits for children in displaced communities outside Yarmouk camp, the former heart of Palestine refugee community, and sought access to the besieged suburb itself, where the basic humanitarian needs of some 18,000 Palestinian and Syrian civilians are left unmet.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said it continues to seek secure and unhindered access to Yarmouk and “stands ready to expand the response in the case of further displacement from the area.”

Meanwhile, “UNRWA continued the humanitarian response today, providing water, health and emergency education assistance in Yalda,” a nearby area which hosts those displaced from Yarmouk.

“UNRWA successfully continued humanitarian response operations today, providing 20,000 litres of drinking water to displaced civilians and host communities in Yalda,” the agency said. “The mission also provided 1,200 bags of bread and two UNICEF [UN Children’s Fund] recreational kits to displaced civilians in collective centres. Each recreational kit has sufficient capacity to serve 80 children.”

The agency established to direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees said it also set up a mobile health point, treating 168 patients over the course of the day, and is now working in every neighbouring area to the east and southeast of Yarmouk.

“Those receiving assistance are comprised of Palestinian and Syrian families displaced or affected by conflict, plus host communities,” it said.

According to UNRWA, it provides 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.

“The vulnerability of civilians in Yarmouk remains of the highest severity,” the agency said, adding that it 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.

As violence continues to profoundly threaten the lives and safety of Palestine refugees throughout Syria, UNRWA appealed for donors to increase their support to the Agency’s Emergency Appeal,” the agency said, noting that more than 95 per cent of Palestine refugees now rely on UNRWA to meet their daily needs of food, water and healthcare.

UNRWA is seeking $ 30 million to provide life-sustaining assistance to the 18,000 civilians from Yarmouk, including 3,500 children, and those affected by conflict and displacement in other areas, during an initial 90 day rapid response.

This emergency call for funds forms part of the UNRWA Syria Crisis Appeal, which provides critical humanitarian support to 480,000 Palestine refugees throughout Syria and to those displaced to Lebanon and Jordan.

 

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