Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Palestinian orphans in Syria displacement camp enduring abject situation

Local | 2020-06-13 20:10:00
Palestinian orphans in Syria displacement camp enduring abject situation
(AGPS)- Vulnerable groups taking shelter in Daraa camp for Palestinian refugees, south of Syria, continue to struggle for survival in the poverty-stricken area.

Some 121 households in Daraa lost their fathers, who served as their sole breadwinners, and nine other families lost both parents in the warfare.

AGPS has kept record of the death of over 250 Palestinian refugee children in war-torn Syria.

Thousands of children have gone orphaned after they lost one or both of their parents in the deadly warfare.

The warfare in Syria has had traumatic fallouts on Palestinian refugee children in and outside of Syria. Post-traumatic stress disorders, mental psychosis, sleeplessness and nightmares, eating disorders, and intense fear have all been reported among Palestinian children from Syria.

Humanitarian conditions have gone remarkably worse in Daraa Camp for Palestinian refugees due to the price leap, poor infrastructure, and absence of vital services.

Civilians continue to sound distress signals over the absence of health services and life-saving medical kit. Most of the clinics and medical centers in the area have gone out of operation in the warfare. Dozens of sick and elderly civilians face mountainous journeys trying to reach Al-Kashef area for treatment.

UN data indicates that Deraa refugee camp is located inside Deraa City, in southern Syria. Palestinian refugees came to the Deraa area in two waves in 1948 and in 1967.

However, as the recent conflict unraveled, the camp became engulfed by violence and 90 per cent of the camp population had to leave the camp and seek safety in other areas such as Deraa city, Damascus or Jordan. Most UNRWA services were moved to alternative premises in Deraa city.

Deraa camp and its surroundings returned to government control in the summer of 2018. The camp is now largely destroyed. UNRWA was able to return to Deraa camp in November 2018 to conduct a needs assessment.  Inside Deraa camp, all premises including three school buildings and a clinic need substantial repairs or complete rebuilding.

Deraa camp was home to 10,500 Palestine refugees before 2011. As of November 2018, 400 Palestine refugee families have returned since the camp returned to government hands.

As of February 2020, some 800 families had returned to Daraa camp and 750 students to the UNRWA schools, according to UNRWA.

The camp was initially set up on an area of 0.04 square kilometers, and it now covers an area of 1.3 square kilometers.  In addition to the 10,500 Palestine refugees in the camp, there were more than 17.500 Palestine refugees living in neighboring Syrian villages before the conflict. Most of them worked as farmers on Syrian-owned lands, others were employed as wage laborers, government workers and a few as UNRWA staff.

The older part of the camp was established in 1950-51 for refugees from the northern and eastern parts of Palestine following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. Next to the old camp is the newer part, which was set up in 1967 for some 4,200 Palestine refugees who were forced to leave the Quneitra Governorate in the Golan following the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict.

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