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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
18 May 2014




THE CRISIS IN YARMOUK CAMP

18 MAY 2014

Our spokesperson Chris Gunness has the following to say on the situation in Yarmouk Camp

“There were no food distributions in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus today. No UNRWA distribution of food parcels to civilians in Yarmouk has been possible since 13 May, when two government military personnel were shot within the area in which UNRWA conducts distribution operations. This is the sixth consecutive day that UNRWA is unable to distribute food assistance inside Yarmouk. Reports of relief items being distributed in Yarmouk since May 13th do not relate to UNRWA's operations. The Agency is urgently seeking permission from the authorities to resume its food distribution operations in Yarmouk as soon as possible.

“UNRWA remains deeply concerned about the desperate humanitarian situation in Yarmouk and will continue to press for continuous, substantial and safe humanitarian access to deliver the food and other humanitarian supplies that the civilians of Yarmouk need.”


“120 Palestine students have left Yarmouk, the besieged refugee camp in Damascus, in order to take public exams. UNRWA arranged for the students temporarily to leave Yarmouk to enable them to participate in nation-wide State exams for ninth graders, which are due to begin on May 18th. The move was completed with the facilitation of the Syrian Authorities.

“The students from Yarmouk are being accommodated at UNRWA's Palestine School and at the facility fun by the Syrian Government Department, GAPAR's Sa'id Al'as Centre and will be fully catered for by UNRWA during their stay. UNRWA has already provided each student with basic amenities, including hygiene kits, and a small cash stipend.

“However, the situation the students left remains dire. There have been no UNRWA distribution of food parcels to civilians in Yarmouk since 13 May, when two government military personnel were shot within the area in which UNRWA conducts distribution operations. We are urgently seeking permission from the authorities to resume its food distribution operations in Yarmouk as soon as possible.

“We are deeply concerned that recourse to armed force in Yarmouk continues to disrupt efforts to alleviate the plight of approximately 18,000 trapped civilians. According to our estimates, no more than 25% of the minimum food needs of civilians in Yarmouk have been met since we first had access to the area in January. We continue to have strong concerns about the well-being of civilians in Yarmouk. We maintain our urgent appeals for continuous, substantial and safe humanitarian access to Yarmouk.”


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