Yarmouk civilians eat again

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Woman in Yarmouk May 02, 2016 (Photo: unrwa.org)

Woman in Yarmouk May 02, 2016 (Photo: unrwa.org)

But for how long, is the question. On Wednesday UNRWA managed to continue its humanitarian operations in Yalda, Damascus for the third consecutive day since intense clashes broke out on 07 April, and Yarmouk civilians were able to access Yalda for the first time in almost a month to receive much-needed assistance, and return to their homes.

Families received hygiene kits in addition to food parcels, and a small mobile medical team was able to treat 259 civilians in need of primary health care, including 61 children and 112 women.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said they are encouraged by the success of these vital humanitarian operations, and hope to continue them as long as conditions remain safe and the required authorizations are granted.

“It is vital that all concerned actors ensure the long-term continuation of the conditions which enabled the success of UNRWA’s missions so far,” he said.

UNRWA has led humanitarian assistance efforts in the Yarmouk-Yalda area since January 2014. In spite of immense and complex obstacles, including frequent interruptions, the Agency has established a record of persistent advocacy and effective humanitarian action in the area.

A prolonged break in access since June 2015 ended when UNRWA was able to resume distribution operations in Yalda on February 13, 2016, but these were interrupted by the April clashes between extremist armed groups inside Yarmouk.

“UNRWA stands ready to sustain for the long term delivery of its humanitarian assistance and services for the benefit of Palestine refugees and other vulnerable civilians in the Yarmouk-Yalda area,” said Gunness.

Will the Syrian fighters from all sides continue to permit safe, full, uninterrupted humanitarian access to Yarmouk and its civilians, to ensure they can eat again tomorrow, and the next day?

Yalda May 04, 2016 (Photo: unrwa.org)

Yalda May 04, 2016 (Photo: unrwa.org)