Husseiniyeh: So far, over 4,500 families have returned to Husseiniyeh, located south of Damascus, Eighty per cent of these are Palestine refugees. The gathering was formerly home to nearly 30,000 Palestine refugees and Syrians, and up to 300 families are reported to be returning every day, with urgent needs relating to repair of shelters and rehabilitation of utilities, including water, sewage and electricity networks. UNRWA has re-established core health and education services, with three schools, including two UNRWA schools, reopening on 13 September, accommodating over 2,700 students. A total of 3,600 food parcels, 3,600 hygiene kits, 3,000 jerry cans and 1,700 kitchen sets were distributed to returning families during the month.
UNRWA distributed food parcels to 41,732 families (166,928 individuals) via 14 distribution centres in the Damascus area, Neirab, Hama, Homs, Latakia, Aleppo and Dera’a. Following the reopening of Husseiniyeh this month, UNRWA distributed food parcels to 3,600 families in the gathering. In addition, the Agency also distributed 881 food parcels to refugees in 20 collective shelters, as well as daily hot meals prepared through central kitchens. Distribution of food to the areas of Yarmouk and Yalda remains restricted, while refugees from Khan Eshieh in Rif Damascus and the countryside around Dera’a must travel to other areas to collect humanitarian assistance.
In the second round of cash assistance, UNRWA distributed cash to a total of 419,793 refugees (116,405 families) who each collected the equivalent of US$ 64 in Syrian Pounds. As a result of a verification exercise of its cash assistance programme between June and September 2015, UNRWA currently estimates that 430,000 refugees depend entirely on UNRWA to meet their basic needs out of 450,000 Palestine refugees estimated to remain in the country.
UNRWA provides health care for up to 450,000 refugees in Syria through 14 health centres and 11 health points. In September, the majority of patients were women (56 per cent) and 75,800 consultations were provided across Syria. UNRWA medical teams have treated 51 suspected cases of typhoid across the country, including 32 suspected cases in Yalda. A further 1,788 patient consultations were provided to refugees in Yalda in September.
NON-FOOD ITEM ASSISTANCE:
UNRWA distributed 105 blankets, 50 mattresses, and 150 jerry cans in collective shelters. UNRWA also distributed 1,700 kitchen sets and 3,000 jerry cans to refugees returning to Husseiniyeh.
In the new academic year, which started on 13 September, some 43,000 students resumed their education in 46 UNRWA schools and 51 non-UNRWA schools provided by the Ministry of Education. In Husseiniyeh, three UNRWA schools were reopened in time for the new academic year, following the return of refugees to the area. Approximately 2,700 students have been able to return to regular classes as a result.
UNRWA currently hosts 10,926 Palestine refugees (2,786 families) in 34 collective shelters located in various UNRWA installations and other facilities – including schools, community centres and mosques – in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia. Food assistance – in the form of canned and dry foods – was provided to the shelters, as well as hygiene kits and various sanitary products including diapers and sanitary napkins for women. An estimated 1,200 refugees and Syrian internally displaced persons (IDPs) have left the shelters following the reopening of Husseinieh to civilians, and two shelters have been closed as a result.
Water, sanitation & Hygiene:
Despite ongoing constraints on distributing basic humanitarian relief items in Yalda, UNRWA distributed 600,000 chlorine tablets provided by UNICEF to the Yalda community throughout the month. UNRWA distributed 3,435 packs of infant diapers, 1,455 hygiene kits and 7,216 packs of sanitary towels for female beneficiaries living in UNRWA-managed collective shelters and 3,600 hygiene kits in Husseiniyeh. Collective centres continue to benefit from WASH interventions to reduce the risk of epidemics, including regular maintenance, garbage collection, plumbing and sanitation works in all accessible facilities camps and gatherings.