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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Germany
11 April 2015

press release

Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Strässer calls for humanitarian access
to Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus

date of issue

Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, has appealed to the conflicting parties to grant humanitarian access to Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus without delay. The Syrian army, pro-Assad militias, Palestinian groups and the terrorist organisation ISIS have been fighting for control over the Palestinian camp.

“Large parts of Yarmouk refugee camp were seized by the terrorist organisation ISIS last week. After humanitarian access to the camp has been blocked and often completely refused for two years, its inhabitants have now become the victims of a further escalation of this cruel conflict. I call on all the conflicting parties to respect international humanitarian law and to uphold their obligations to protect the civilian population. A safe evacuation from Yarmouk must be possible for everyone who wishes to leave the camp. Furthermore, I call on the Syrian Government to immediately stop using banned weapons of war such as barrel bombs, which have been dropped on the densely populated Palestinian camp.

In 2014, the Federal Foreign Office supported the humanitarian work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by providing around 6.4 million euros to foster humanitarian aid in Syria. It has now entered into a close dialogue with the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Crescent as well as non-governmental organisations to discuss how the civilian population affected by the fighting in Yarmouk can be assisted.

“However, a prerequisite for this is humanitarian access, something that only the conflicting parties can ensure,” Strässer said.

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