Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman based in the Agency’s Sheikh Jarrah office in Jerusalem, sent out a message Friday saying that “Many people around the world were shocked by the images of unarmed refugees being shot at as they fled from their homes, amid the firing on their refugee camp. But the good news is that our incredibly courageous local UNRWA staff have established a temporary office in Latakia, outside the refugee camp … [and] have located about 6,000 of the 7,500 refugees displaced by the fighting. UNRWA has been able to assist them with cash grants for food, medicine and accommodation. Many, particularly the children and women, are traumatized and in a poor condition … the refugees are too frightened to return to their homes there and are not returning. UNRWA has not had access — draw your own conclusions about what that means about the security situation there and the state of the camp”.
Where are these people staying? Elsewhere in Latakia, for the most part, Chris explained, either with relatives or friends. Apparently, Latakia’s Rimal camp for Palestinian refugees is still considered totally unsafe, and “some are sleeping in the rough”, he added.
To be very specific, he said that representatives of 1,100 families [numbering on average five persons per family] have been in touch with the UNRWA local staff in Latakia.
But. that leaves at least another 300 to 400 Palestinian refugee families [totalling some 1,500 or so people] from the Rimal camp in Latakia still unaccounted for, however…
Chris added that UNRWA has “been assisting the following groups:
Latakia: 1,100 families – 5,500 people approximately
Homs: 44 – 220 people
Yarmouk camp in Damascus: 34 – 190 people
Aleppo: a small but growing number of people”