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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
21 July 2016


National school exams commenced on 3 May for grades 1 through 12. In June, permission was granted for 47 grade 12 students from Khan Eshieh camp, 47 from Lebanon, and 45 from Yarmouk to travel to Damascus to sit for their examinations. The students were hosted in several facilities in central Damascus for the duration of their stay and provided with food baskets and hygiene kits. The students generally achieved positive exam results, with 95 per cent of Khan Eshieh students receiving a passing mark; however, significantly lower results were achieved by students from Yarmouk, with 39 percent of students receiving a passing mark.

As the 2015/16 academic year came to a close, 3,931 students enrolled for the summer learning programme (as of the end of June). Classes in art, music, sports, French, English and Arabic will be conducted, as well as catch-up classes for students needing extra tuition to successfully pass their exams.


The second round of cash assistance for 2016 was completed on 30 June, distributing a total of US$ 24,242,485 to 415,274 Palestine refugees (118,517 families) in Damascus, Aleppo, Qamishli, Dera'a, Swayda, Homs, Latakia and Hama. UNRWA has run the largest cash assistance programme in Syria since the beginning of the crisis. To date, a total of US$ 49,528,331 has been disbursed to Palestine refugees in Syria, supporting their ability to meet their most basic needs, as well as indirectly supporting the local economy.


The Agency's second round of food assistance for 2016 was conducted from 3 April to 30 June. For the month of June, a total of 35,834 family food parcels were distributed to Palestine refugees from Homs, Hama, Latakia, Damascus, Rif Damascus, Aleppo, Swayda and Dera'a. UNRWA also provided 233 food parcels to 224 families in collective shelters, as well as a further 92 individual-size food parcels to students from Yarmouk and Khan Eshieh being hosted for their exams. UNRWA was not able to conduct any mission to Yalda in June due to security concerns. Food parcels are designed to provide one third of daily nutritional requirements for a month and distributed based on family size. Each food parcel includes rice, sugar, pulses, milk, halaweh, oil and pasta. For specific hard-to-reach and besieged locations, UNRWA supplements this parcel with additional items, including tomato paste, canned food, jam, chickpeas, bulgur wheat, beans and tea.


The reduction of residents in collective shelters continued in June, with a total of 2,855 Palestine refugees (880 families) remaining in 10 UNRWA collective shelters, located in various UNRWA installations, schools and training centres in and around Damascus and two non-UNRWA facilities in Khan Dunoun camp. The Agency also provided 998 mattresses and 4,071 blankets via 17 distribution points to Palestine refugees in need.


UNRWA medical teams conducted 62,805 health and 6,628 dental consultations in June. UNRWA continues to provide health care to up to 450,000 refugees in Syria through 15 health centres and 11 health points, as well as dental services through 12 health centres and 3 health points. UNRWA also maintains agreements with 11 hospitals to offer subsidized secondary care to Palestine refugees in Syria.


The academic year concluded on 12 May with a total of 43,017 students attending 99 schools, of which 44 are UNRWA schools and 55 are hosted in government schools. The summer learning programme commenced on 29 June for the 3,931 students enrolled to date, offering classes in art, music, sports, English, and Arabic, as well as catch-up classes for students needing extra tuition to sit for their end-of-year exams. Basic counselling and on-the-job training and supervision sessions were conducted in June with 66 teachers participating (9 men, 58 women).


Families in collective shelters received 949 hygiene kits, while a further 199 individual-size hygiene kits were provided to students from Yarmouk, Khan Eshieh and Lebanon being hosted in several facilities while sitting for their exams. In addition, 5,943 packs of baby and adult diapers, as well as 2,784 sanitary napkins, were distributed to displaced refugees in collective shelters, and 10,336 hygiene kits were distributed to Palestine refugees not in collective shelters via 17 distribution points. UNRWA also provided regular garbage collection, rehabilitation of sewage systems infrastructure, supply of chemicals for treatment, equipment, spare parts, and fuel to camps and host communities. UNRWA also continues to provide safe drinking water to areas where access to water remains extremely difficult. These areas include gatherings in Jdaydet Artouz and Shahba, both collective shelters, in addition to camps.

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