Statement of Concern regarding Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp, Syria

April 8, 2015–We are deeply concerned about the terrible conditions facing Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk refugee camp outside of Damascus, Syria. The camp was invaded by ISIS militants last week and the Syrian government has also been bombarding the area. We urge the international community to take action to enable safe passage for residents and for supplies into the camp.

Since April 1, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has been unable to access the camp to provide urgently needed supplies of food, water and medicine. UNRWA spokesman Chris Guinness said Monday that the situation is Š__beyond inhumane.Š__

Some 18,000 people, including 3,500 children, remain trapped in the camp. On April 6, the UN reported that resident are subsisting on a mere 400 calories per day, out of the needed 2,000.

During the last 4 years of civil war, the over 500,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria have been caught in the complex political realities and escalating violence. The current crisis in Yarmouk has highlighted the dire situation facing Palestinian refugees, millions of whom have lived in refugee camps in neighboring countries since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. These refugees have been denied the internationally-recognized right of refugees displaced by war to return to their homes, as stipulated in UN Resolution 194. 

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