Syria: UNRWA condemns armed attack against one of its installations in Dera’a Camp [EN/AR] – Syrian Arab Republic

Early on 9 April 2022, two individuals on a motorbike opened fire on the UNRWA health center in Dera’a camp, Syria and threw an explosive device inside the compound, causing minor material damage. No injuries or fatalities were sustained during the incident. The health center – that had been damaged in 2013 during the conflict – was under rehabilitation at the time of the incident.

UNRWA condemns this direct attack on one of its installations in the strongest terms. United Nations’ premises are neutral and protected under international law.

UNRWA implements a strict no-weapons policy in all its installations as part of the Agency’s efforts to ensure they are only used for humanitarian purposes. UNRWA is progressively rehabilitating various installations in Dera’a camp, including the health center, to ensure vulnerable Palestine refugees can access the services easily.

The Agency demands full respect of the inviolability and neutrality of United Nations premises at all times. Any action that puts beneficiaries or UNRWA staff at risk or undermines the ability of the Agency to provide assistance to Palestine refugees in safety and security is not acceptable.

UNRWA reiterates its previous call that all parties must protect civilians and safeguard civilian infrastructure, including UNRWA installations in the Dera’a Governorate.

Background Information:

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA program budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s program budget. UNRWA emergency programs and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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