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OF PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ON HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AT YARMOUK CAMP
The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People expresses the Committee’s deep concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.
Approximately, 18,000 persons, mainly Palestine refugees, have been trapped for over four months in the camp and are enduring extremely difficult conditions. There are now credible reports that a significant number of people in the camp are experiencing acute malnutrition, including infants and children who are suffering from diseases including anaemia, rickets and kwashiorkor. The lack of electricity, heating and regular water supplies are also contributing to the rapidly deteriorating health of residents and the humanitarian crisis in the camp.
The Bureau welcomes the continuing efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to provide assistance to Palestine refugees in all fields of operation, including in Syria, despite widespread instability, as well as the ongoing attempts to supply urgently needed food and medicines to Yarmouk, which has received no supplies since September 2013. The Bureau shares UNRWA’s concerns that its attempt last week to provide food for 6,000 people and other medical supplies had to be aborted due to indirect fire in the proximity of the camp, preventing the delivery of vital aid. While welcoming the reports that limited food aid reached the camp and critically ill residents started to be evacuated over the weekend, the Bureau expresses its grave concern that, of the total 540,000 Palestine refugees in Syria, almost all now require emergency assistance and more than half of them have been again displaced.
The Bureau urgently calls for respect of international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of all civilians in this tragic conflict, and also calls for measures to ensure immediate, safe, open and continuous humanitarian access to the Yarmouk camp so that the civilians trapped therein can be provided with critical relief and assistance. The Committee stresses the need for a just solution to the Palestine refugee question in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and in the context of lasting Palestinian-Israeli peace and comprehensive regional peace.