20 May 2015
20 May 2015 Issue No. 31
UNRWA conducted humanitarian operations in Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham today, continuing a second round of food assistance for civilians displaced from Yarmouk. Humanitarian activities continue in Tadamoun, to the north-east
• UNRWA personnel established a distribution point in Yalda, serving displaced civilians in the three areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham, to the south-east of Yarmouk. A total of 1,200 families were provided with food parcels and 3,000 packets of bread were distributed. Fresh and dry food sufficient to provide a daily hot meal for 600 individuals for one week was also provided to a community kitchen serving displaced civilians.
• Those receiving assistance were comprised of Palestinian and Syrian families displaced or affected by conflict, plus host communities. Although today’s operation focused on food, UNRWA missions deliver a broad range of critical humanitarian materials to affected families, including medical supplies, fresh water, water purification treatments, mattresses, blankets, family kitchen sets and hygiene kits.
• UNRWA continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians from Yarmouk who remain displaced in Tadamoun, an area on the north-eastern periphery. The Agency is also providing daily hot lunches for all civilians, complemented by regular distribution of canned food.
• These ongoing operations represent a sustained demonstration of the commitment of the UN, both UNRWA and partners, to providing essential assistance to all civilians affected by the crisis in Yarmouk. UNRWA’s priority remains the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians within Yarmouk itself and reiterates its strong demand for respect and compliance with obligations to protect civilians and to establish secure conditions under which UNRWA can deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance.
• The vulnerability of civilians in Yarmouk remains of the highest severity. UNRWA 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.
• UNRWA mobilized its emergency response team on April 1st to develop a range of response scenarios, including large displacements to areas where UNRWA does not currently have access.
• UNRWA works closely with partners and UN Agencies to mobilize resources for a large-scale humanitarian response to support the civilians of Yarmouk.
• UNRWA has prepositioned stocks of food, mattresses, blankets, and hygiene kits to respond in the case of further displacement from Yarmouk.
CALL FOR SUPPORT
• As violence continues to profoundly threaten the lives and safety of Palestine refugees throughout Syria, UNRWA appeals for donors to increase their support to the Agency’s urgent Call for Funds, seeking an immediate injection of $30 million. The UNRWA Syria Crisis Appeal has received only 21% of the funds needed for 2015.
• The capacity of the Agency to sustain life-saving emergency interventions, whilst responding immediately to urgent developments such as the one impacting Yarmouk since April 1st, is undermined by chronic underfunding for humanitarian interventions inside Syria.
• More than 95% of Palestine refugees now rely on UNRWA to meet their daily needs of food, water and healthcare.
• Priority interventions include cash assistance which enables UNRWA to access up to 470,000 Palestine refugees in need, including up to 39,500 currently living in hard to reach areas. This intervention will run out of funding after the distribution of second round of cash assistance in June.
• Additional funding is also required for critical non-food items including blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits for displaced Palestine refugee families throughout Syria.