Syria: Palestine Refugees - Humanitarian Snapshot, August 2014
August saw continued violence and prolonged displacement across Syria, with continuing access difficulties for Palestine refugees in Yarmouk, Khan Eshieh and villages to the west of Dera’a. In Dera’a itself, clashes and shelling have continued, whilst the city suffered from 8 days of electricity shortage, briefly affecting the distribution of the second round of cash assistance. An UNRWA staff member was killed when clashes broke out in the area between Dera’a and Mzerieb. 13 UNRWA staff have now been killed as a direct result of the conflict, and a further 26 have been injured.
In August UNRWA completed its "rst round of distribution, with 458,722 refugees receiving two months of cash assistance worth approximately USD 64 in total. Second round distributions also continue, and over the course of the month a total of 25,000 refugees received cash for two months, bringing the total number of bene"ciaries reached during the second round to 432,957 until the end of August. 43 distribution points are operational across the country. A recent evaluation of the cash programme found that refugees now spend a combined total of 75% of their cash assistance on rent and food alone.
UNRWA completed its second round of food distribution in mid-August. The Agency distributed a total of 36,980 family food parcels across Syria, including Aleppo (2,875 parcels), Deraa (626 parcels), Latakia (6,694 parcels), Hama (4,290 parcels) and Homs (3,671 parcels). The Agency was also able to distribute 2,088 food parcels to refugees in Yarmouk, despite only having access for seven days.
13,466 displaced Palestine refugees and Syrians currently receive shelter in 37 UNRWA and UNRWA-managed collective shelters in Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia and Hama. 147 newborn infants many of whom were born in the shelters currently live in the shelters, in addition to 155 persons with disabilities and 7 unaccompanied children. Many refugees have been compelled to live in collective shelters since December 2012 when Yarmouk was overwhelmed by "ghting. UNRWA provides regular health and social services in the collective shelters, in addition to regular maintenance and upgrading of washing facilities. Displaced refugees also receive two meals per day from UNRWA.
Summer Learning activities were completed in August, providing catch-up classes for 13,142 students who had missed out on regular classes during the school year and who required additional support to sit their end of year exams. Updated results will be available soon, and the new school year is set to start in mid-September.
NON FOOD ITEM ASSISTANCE
2,521 hygiene kits were distributed in Yarmouk following sporadic access, helping to address some of the chronic sanitation and hygiene concerns in the besieged area. 210 mattresses, 200 blankets, 40 tents, mats and cooking sets were distributed to a collective shelter in Khan Dannoun following a !re which destroyed the previous temporary shelters. UANlR-HWaAs aklseoh d istributed 2,301 hygiene kits, 4,318 packs of infant diapers, 420 packs of adult diapers, 8,385 packs of sanitary towels across 30 collective shelters in Damascus. 3,728 light blankets were distributed in Deraa to displaced and con!ict affected refugees.
WATER SANITATION & HYGIENE
UNRWA provides hygiene kits to collective shelters and the besieged area of Yarmouk. In the last month the Agency distributed 2,521 kits inside Yarmouk and 2,301 kits inside collective shelters in Damascus. Each hygiene kit provides enough soap, shampoo, disinfectant, washing detergent and other sanitary items to last a family of four for one month.
Since its opening in late July, the new temporary health point on the edge of Yarmouk has been operational on 15 days during August, providing primary health care to over 1,500 refugees from the besieged area. The infectious disease surveillance system continues to monitor for any new outbreaks following the typhoid outbreak in July. 14 primary health centres and ten health points are currently operational in Damascus, Aleppo, Deraa, Hama, Homs and Latakia, providing 388,000 consultations since the beginning of the year.