29 April 2015
28 April 2015 Issue No. 23
The UN Country Team, representing all UN humanitarian agencies in Syria, arranged a 22-truck convoy of critical humanitarian items to Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham today, in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). This convoy represents a significant expansion of the humanitarian response in these areas, with representatives from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) and UNRWA.
• A large, inter-agency convoy entered Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham today, delivering critical humanitarian items to conflict-affected civilians; both local residents and those displaced from Yarmouk. UNRWA participated in this coordinated effort, which demonstrates the sustained commitment of UN humanitarian agencies to support civilians affected by the Yarmouk crisis. In partnership with SARC, the UN team hopes to maintain regular distributions to the area, while restoring critical services and utilities as quickly as possible.
• UNRWA medical personnel established a mobile health point in Yalda, treating 325 patients over the course of the day. The team initiated a vaccine campaign, serving 28 children.
• The UNRWA team also provided food supplies to two community kitchens, sufficient to feed 900 individuals for one week. 1,200 packets of bread were delivered to civilians in Yalda, Babila and Beit Saham.
• Those receiving UNRWA assistance are comprised of Palestinian and Syrian families displaced or affected by conflict, plus host communities. UNRWA missions deliver 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.
• 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.
• 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 for the establishment of secure conditions under which the Agency can deliver vital 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 16% 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.