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Palestinians: Syria

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL8024, tabled on 27 April 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will seek to achieve a local ceasefire around the Yarmouk Camp in south Damascus so that UNWRA can deliver food to the population in the Camp.

Answered on

11 May 2016

The UK is extremely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yarmouk camp in Syria, where intensified fighting between Daesh and Al- Nusra Front in recent weeks has exacerbated the suffering of approximately 6,000 civilians there, who are besieged by Syrian regime forces.

The UK will consider any option compliant with international law that might save lives in Syria. We do not think it would be feasible to broker a local ceasefire in Yarmouk camp, given the parties involved in the fighting there. However, through the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) the UK will continue to support the resumption of a nationwide Cessation of Hostilities as a step towards an inclusive, Syrian-owned political transition.

The UK is committed to supporting the most vulnerable people in need inside Syria wherever they are. As part of the ISSG we agreed with other members on 11 February that humanitarian access should be opened to a number of priority areas, including Yarmouk, as a first step to accelerating full and sustained access across Syria. Since then, UNRWA has delivered 21 convoys with multi-sectoral assistance to 19,000 people in Yalda, Babella, Beit-Sahm, including thousands of residents in and from Yarmouk. We welcome UNRWA’s efforts in protecting and assisting vulnerable Palestinian refugees. To date, the UK has allocated over £59 million to UNRWA to provide assistance for Palestinian refugees affected by the violence in Syria and the region.