campsThe refugee camps are coordinated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which has five fields of operation, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and Gaza. The figures provided below represent those that are registered with UNRWA and do not include those who are in Diasporas and also Palestinians who were internally displaced in Israel.

(The figures below are taken from UNRWA)

 


JORDAN

JORDAN REFUGEE CAMP PROFILES

CAMP

NUMBER OF
REGISTERED REFUGEES

Baqa'a

93,916

Amman New Camp

51,443

Marka

45,593

Jabal el-Hussein

29,464

Irbid

25,250

Husn

22,194

Zarqa

18,509

Souf

20,142

Jerash

24,090

Talbieh

6,970

+ 70 refugees distributed throughout the camps.

Ten official Palestine refugee camps are located in Jordan. They accommodate 337,571 registered refugees, or 17 per cent of the 1.9 million refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan. Four of the camps were set up on the east bank of the Jordan River after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and six after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. In addition, there are three neighbourhoods in Amman, Zarqa and Madaba which are considered camps by the Government of Jordan, and "unofficial" camps by UNRWA. The population of the ten camps, the three "unofficial" camps and the refugees residing in the vicinity of camps live under similar socio-economic conditions and together make up an estimated 65 per cent of the Palestine refugees in Jordan.

In 1948, an estimated 100,000 refugees crossed the Jordan River and initially took shelter in temporary camps, in mosques and schools, or in towns and villages. International organizations, mainly the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), provided emergency assistance for the refugees until May 1950 when UNRWA started its operations.

The first camp, Zarqa, was set up in 1949 by the ICRC, where a large number of the refugees had gathered near the town of Zarqa, some 25 kilometers north east of Amman. Between 1951-1954 three more camps were set up; two in the Amman area and one in Irbid, north Jordan.

The refugees were accommodated in tents until the late 1950s when UNRWA replaced the tents with more durable shelters. Each new shelter was a brick room with asbestos roofing. A family of 4-5 members had one room of 12 square metres, and a family of 6-8 had two rooms on a plot of land not exceeding 80-100 square metres. The refugees were able to construct additional rooms as the family grew by birth and marriage. However, with the fourth generation of refugees now becoming adults, the shelters and surrounding plots of land have become fully utilized as living space so that the camps today are highly congested and overcrowded.

Many of the camps are now surrounded by residential areas as a result of the growth in the Jordanian population and the subsequent development of the towns and cities. The camps have developed into quarters resembling the neighbourhoods around them due to the refugees themselves who have worked hard to improve their conditions and to the Government of Jordan, which has invested large amounts of funds to provide the camps with basic infrastructure.

In 1967 following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip there was another influx of refugees into Jordan. Some 140,000 persons, already registered refugees with UNRWA, were part of the new exodus together with about 240,000 citizens of the West Bank who are referred to as "displaced persons" (the West Bank was administered by Jordan between 1948-1967). These new refugees took shelter in temporary camps in the Jordan Valley. When military operations escalated in the area they had to be moved to safer areas elsewhere in Jordan. In early 1968, six tented "emergency" camps were established for these refugees and displaced persons. UNRWA later replaced the tents with pre-fabricated shelters and the refugees themselves have now replaced the prefabs with concrete structures. Although there has been enormous improvements in the " 1967 emergency" camps over the years, they remain less developed than those established in the 1950s. Some of them lack basic infrastructure and public services, especially the camps in remote areas.

UNRWA coordinates with the Jordanian government's Department of Palestinian Affairs (DPA) as well as with the camps' improvement committees. Members of these committees are selected by the DPA from amongst community leaders and refugee notables who in effect take on the role of municipal councils.

The infrastructure of the camps is primarily the responsibility of the host government. However, UNRWA's sanitation and technical departments work hand-in-hand with the DPA and camp committees to help improve roads, pathways and drainage.

All Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan, whether they live in camps or outside camps, are eligible for UNRWA services. However, those living in or near camps, generally the poorest of the refugees, have easier access to Agency services.

All Palestine refugees in Jordan have full Jordanian citizenship with the exception of about 120,000 refugees originally from the Gaza Strip, which up to 1967 was administered by Egypt. They are eligible for temporary Jordanian passports, which do not entitle them to full citizenship rights such as the right to vote and employment with the government.

 

 

 

 


LEBANON REFUGEE CAMP PROFILES

CAMP

NUMBER OF
REGISTERED REFUGEES

Mar Elias

615

Burj el-Barajneh

16,066

Dbayeh

4,048

Shatila

8,645

Ein el-Hilweh

47,614

Mieh Mieh

4,683

El-Buss

9,849

Rashidieh

27,521

Burj el-Shemali

19,771

Nahr el-Bared

N/A

Beddawi

16,591

Wavel

7,909

Total

222,776

+ 10,246 refugees distributed throughout the camps.

Of the original 16 official camps in Lebanon, three were destroyed during the years of conflict and were never rebuilt or replaced: Nabatieh camp in south Lebanon, and Dikwaneh and Jisr el-Basha camps in the Beirut area. Most of the displaced refugees in Lebanon, approximately 6,000 families, are originally from these three camps. A fourth camp, Gouraud in Baalbeck, was evacuated many years ago and its inhabitants were transferred to Rashidieh camp in the Tyre area.

In mid-2007 Approximately 27,000 Palestine refugees were displaced from Nahr el-Bared camp (NBC) and its adjacent areas in northern Lebanon in mid-2007, as a result of the conflict between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the extremist Fatah Al-Islam group. The camp was pounded with heavy artillery and aerial bombardments during the three month siege and an estimated 95% of all buildings and infrastructure were either destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The first stages of a major reconstruction and recovery effort - to rebuild the camp and allow displaced refugees to return to their homes - are now underway.

Today, all 12 official refugee camps in the Lebanon Field suffer from serious problems - no proper infrastructure, overcrowding, poverty and unemployment. The Lebanon Field has the highest percentage of Palestine refugees who are living in abject poverty and who are registered with the Agency's "special hardship" programme.

The number of Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Lebanon is currently 422,188, or an estimated 10 per cent of the population of Lebanon, a small country which is now quite densely populated.

Palestine refugees in Lebanon face specific problems. They do not have social and civil rights, and have very limited access to the government's public health or educational facilities and no access to public social services. The majority rely entirely on UNRWA as the sole provider of education, health and relief and social services. Considered as foreigners, Palestine refugees are prohibited by law from working in more than 70 trades and professions. This has led to a very high rate of unemployment amongst the refugee population.

Popular committees in the camps representing the refugees regularly discuss these problems with the Lebanese Government or with UNRWA officials, and they call for better living conditions for the refugees.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • Number of primary health care facilities: 30
  • Number of schools: 81
  • Student enrolment: 34,516
  • Annual medical and dental patient visits: 1,014,599
  • Refugees registered with UNRWA's "special hardship" programme: 48,506
  • Number of community rehabilitation centres: 1
  • Number of vocational and technical training centres (VTTC): 2
  • Vocational and technical training places: 1,025
  • Number of women's programme centres: 9
  • Number of microfinance and microenterprise loans awarded: N/A
  • Cumulative value of loans awarded: N/A

 


SYRIA

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC
REFUGEE CAMP PROFILES

CAMP

NUMBER OF
REGISTERED REFUGEES

Khan Eshieh

19,059

Khan Dunoun

9,788

Sbeineh

21,210

Qabr Essit

22,348

Jaramana

18,740

Dera'a

13,342

Homs

22,034

Hama

8,263

Neirab

18,955

Total

153,739

Most of the Palestine refugees who fled to the Syrian Arab Republic as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict were from the northern part of Palestine, mainly from Safad and the cities of Haifa and Jaffa.

In 1967, over 100,000 people, including Palestine refugees, fled from the Golan Heights to other parts of Syria when the area was occupied by Israel. A few thousand refugees fleeing war-torn Lebanon in 1982 also took refuge in Syria.

In Syria, Palestine refugees have access to government services such as government-run schools, universities and hospitals. UNRWA's services complement those of the Syrian Government. While the Syrian Government has taken on the responsibility for providing basic utilities in the camps, UNRWA provides basic environmental health services, including sewage disposal, collection and disposal of solid waste, and control of insect and rodent infestation. However, many of the water and sewerage systems are in need of upgrading, while some camps still lack networks altogether. Poor sanitation in the camps poses health risks for the refugees. In most of the refugee camps shelters remain very basic, and many require structural rehabilitation.

UNRWA-run schools provide basic elementary and preparatory education and follow the national curriculum of the Syrian Ministry of Education. UNRWA also runs a vocational training centre in Damascus, which prepares young refugees for employment by equipping them with marketable skills. More than 11,563 trainees (at both the post-preparatory and post-secondary levels) have graduated from the centre since its opening in 1961.

In the area of health, UNRWA provides preventive and curative services through a network primary health centres.

UNRWA sponsors women's programme centres and community rehabilitation centres, and supports refugees in special hardship with additional assistance.

UNRWA cooperates with the General Administration for Palestine Arab Refugees (GAPAR), a department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which was established in 1950.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • Number of schools: 119
  • Student enrolment: 65,479
  • Number of primary health care facilities: 23
  • Annual medical and dental patient visits (1 July 2005 - 30 June 2006): 997,246
  • Refugees registered as 'Special Hardship Cases': 33,040
  • Number of community rehabilitation centres: 5
  • Number of women's programme centres: 16
  • Number of vocational and technical training centres: 1
  • Vocational and technical training places: 1,172
  • Number of microfinance and microenterprise loans awarded: 18,646
  • Cumulative value of loans awarded: $ 12.9 million

 


WEST BANK

WEST BANK REFUGEE CAMP PROFILES

CAMP

NUMBER OF
REGISTERED REFUGEES

Aqabat Jabr

6,403

Ein el-Sultan

1,920

Shu'fat

10,936

Am'ari

10,520

Kalandia

10,981

Deir Ammar

2,384

Jalazone

11,182

Fawwar

8,066

Arroub

10,444

Dheisheh

12,954

Aida

4,787

Beit Jibrin

1,078

Far'a

7,632

Camp No.1

6,750

Askar

15,887

Balata

23,600

Tulkarm

18,310

Nur Shams

9,163

Jenin

16,209

Total

189,188

 

The West Bank covers 5,500 square kilometers with an estimated population of 2.4 million. Approximately, one quarter of the refugees live in nineteen recognized refugee camps and the majority live in West Bank towns and villages. Some camps are located next to major towns and others are situated in rural areas. While the West Bank has the largest number of camps in UNRWA's five fields of operations, the largest camp, Balata, has a similar size population to the smallest camp in Gaza.

After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, and subsequent related agreements, the West Bank refugee camps gradually came under different zones: Shufat camp, which is situated within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, remained under Israeli control. Kalandia camp fell under "zone C" and remained under full Israeli control; six camps: Deir Ammar, Jalazone, Fawwar, Arroub, Far'a and Nur Shams, fell under joint Palestinian/Israeli control (zone B); and the remaining eleven camps fell under exclusive Palestinian Authority control (zone A). Following the implementation of the first phase of the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, Far'a and Nur Shams came under "zone A" raising the total number of camps under full Palestinian Authority control to thirteen.

Camp residents have been hard hit by closures imposed on the West Bank by the Israeli authorities, since they are largely dependent on income from work inside Israel. Subsequently, unemployment has risen and socio-economic conditions in the camps have deteriorated.

The West Bank camps are active social units. While UNRWA does not administer the camps, the Agency only administers its own installations and programmes. Camp residents run their own activities and camp committees in each camp are regarded as an official body representing the camp population. UNRWA sponsors a number of women's programme centres, community rehabilitation centres, and supports youth activities centres to cater to the needs of women, refugees with disabilities and youth. Several Palestinian NGOs as well as Palestinian Authority ministries are active in the West Bank camps and provide various services.

The Agency runs elementary and preparatory schools. However, the main problem facing UNRWA's education programme in the West Bank is overcrowding with an average of 50 pupils per classroom. Due to the growth in the school population and the shortage of school buildings, a number of schools are run on a double shift basis, i.e. they share the same school building, and a number of schools operate in rented premises. In addition, many schools have been damaged by Israeli military activity since September 2000.

The Agency runs a network of primary health care facilities and a 43-bed hospital in the town of Qalqilia. A major problem facing the Agency's health programme, as in other fields, is the high number of daily patients' visits to the health centres and the heavy workload of doctors and other health staff.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • Number of schools: 94
  • Student enrolment: 56,384
  • Number of primary health care facilities: 41
  • Annual medical and dental patient visits (1 July 2005 - 30 June 2006): 1,724,513
  • Refugees registered with UNRWA's "special hardship" programme: 32,958
  • Number of community rehabilitation centres: 15
  • Number of women's programme centres: 16
  • Number of vocational and technical training centres: 3
  • Vocational and technical training places: 1,354
  • Number of microfinance and microenterprise loans awarded: 42,830
  • Cumulative value of loans awarded: $ 55.746 million

 


GAZA

GAZA REFUGEE CAMP PROFILES

CAMP

NUMBER OF
REGISTERED REFUGEES

Jabalia

107,590

Rafah

98,872

Beach

82,009

Nuseirat

62,117

Khan Younis

68,324

Bureij

31,360

Maghazi

23,981

Deir el-Balah

20,753

Total

494,296

 

 

The Gaza Strip is unique amongst UNRWA's five fields of operations as the majority of its population is refugees and over half of the refugees live in eight camps. Most of the people who fled to the Gaza Strip as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war were from Jaffa, towns and villages south of Jaffa, and from the Beersheva area in the Negev. In all, some 200,000 refugees came to Gaza, whose original inhabitants numbered only 80,000. Such an influx severely burdened this narrow strip of land; an area of only 360 square kilometers. Over three-quarters of the current estimated population of some 1.5 million are registered refugees; representing 22.42 per cent of all UNRWA registered Palestine refugees.

The refugee camps in the Gaza Strip have one of the highest population densities in the world. For example, over 82,009 refugees live in Beach camp whose area is less than one square kilometer. This high population density is reflected in the overcrowded UNRWA schools and classrooms. More than 22,449 new pupils registered in the Agency's schools for the year 2007/2008. In average, 81% of the camps houses are connected to sewers while total area of paved roads and alleys is 385,000m2 .

UNRWA Headquarters (Gaza) and the UNRWA Gaza Field Office are located in Gaza City. The Agency co-operates its humanitarian work with the Palestinian Authority, which was established in 1994.

  • Number of schools: 221
  • Student enrolment: 197,150
  • Number of primary health care facilities: 20
  • Annual medical and dental patient visits (1 Jan.08-31 Dec.08): 4,213,516
  • Refugees registered with UNRWA "special hardship" programme: 94,000
  • Number of community rehabilitation centers: 6
  • Number of women's programme centres: 10
  • Number of vocational and technical training centres: 2
  • Vocational and technical training places: 1276 (GTC), 170 (KYTC) Total (1446)
  • Number of microfinance and microenterprise loans awarded: 40,717
  • Cumulative value of loans awarded: $39,631,297

Figures as of 31 December 2008