Beyond Yarmouk, Palestinians in Syria need aid

Al Jazeera reports: The United Nations has called for immediate and sustained humanitarian access in the Deraa and Damascus areas of war-torn Syria, where more than 20,000 Palestinian refugees live.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Chris Gunness, spokesperson for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), said an estimated 17,500 Palestinians remained “inaccessible” in the Deraa province, along with another 5,000 civilians in Khan Eshieh.

“UNRWA is extremely concerned about the safety and liberty of every Palestine refugee and each of its staff,” Gunness said.

Last week, UNRWA was able to deliver aid to neighbouring areas of Yarmouk, the besieged Damascus-area camp home to both Palestinians and Syrians, for the first time in nine months.

Yet the agency has been unable to gain access to Yarmouk’s interior since late March 2015, days before the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) invaded and took control of most of the camp.

Elsewhere, UNRWA has been unable to reach camps in the Deraa area, as well as the Khan Eshieh camp in southern Damascus, for more than two years.

Al Jazeera spoke to Gunness about recent developments in Palestinian refugee camps across Syria. [Continue reading…]

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