Syria: UN agency continues to seek unhindered access to besieged Yarmouk camp

UNRWA distributes life-saving assistance to displaced civilians from Yarmouk in Yalda, Syria. Photo: UNRWA

16 April 2015 – While ramping up assistance to Palestinian refugees and Syrian civilians that have fled a besieged camp on the southern edge of Damascus, the United Nations agency tasked with aiding Palestinians throughout the region said today that it is still seeking unhindered access to Yarmouk camp itself where thousands remain trapped by fighting among armed groups.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said that it carried out a fourth mission to Yalda, an area to the east of Yarmouk hosting displaced people from Yarmouk. Humanitarian activities also continued in Tadamoun, to the north-east.

An update on the situation report the agency is providing humanitarian assistance to 1,000 families affected by the crisis. UNRWA medical personnel established a mobile health point, treating 153 patients over the course of the day, a sustained increase from 15 April. The UNRWA distribution team will return to Yalda tomorrow.

In addition, the UNRWA team travelled to Babila and Beit Saham, areas adjacent to Yalda to conduct rapid needs assessments and meet with local leaders. UNRWA plans to establish operations in these areas on Saturday, 18 April, substantially expanding the overall response.

UNRWA continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians from Yarmouk who remain displaced in Tadamoun and is also providing daily hot lunches for all civilians, complemented by regular distributions of canned food.

“This continued distribution in Yalda, and planned expansion to other areas represents a sustained demonstration of UNRWA’s commitment to providing essential assistance to all civilians affected by the intensive armed clashes that have recently affected in Yarmouk,” the agency says in a press release.

Meanwhile, UNRWA says its priority remains the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians within Yarmouk itself and the agency reiterated its strong demand for all parties to respect and comply with their obligations to protect civilians and to establish of secure conditions under which it can deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance.


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