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Residents of Khan Dannun Camp Launch Cry for Help

Published : 04-07-2020

Residents of Khan Dannun Camp Launch Cry for Help

Living conditions in Khan Dannun camp have sharply deteriorated due to the lack of financial resources and high unemployment rates wrought by the raging warfare. A transportation crisis has made life difficult in the camp.

Upon more than once occasion, civilians have railed against the mounds of trash and debris piled up in civilian neighborhoods and around the main access roads to the camp, resulting in bed smells and the spread of life-threatening diseases.

Water supplies have also been repeatedly cut off across residential neighborhoods in Khan Dannun, forcing civilians to by drinking water from privately-owned tanks at steep prices.

The situation has been exacerbated by the sanctions implemented by the US as part of the so-called “Caesar Act” targeting anyone doing business with the Assad regime, including in opposition-held zones.

The sanctions are the result of legislation known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, named after the pseudonym of a Syrian who worked with the military police and turned over photographs of thousands of victims of torture by al-Assad's government.

The implementation of the sanctions has led to a further deterioration of the exchange rate of the Syrian pound, resulting in a worse economic situation for vulnerable families whose sole sources of income have been already affected by the unbridled war.

According to UN data, Khan Dannun camp was built several centuries ago to give overnight accommodation to trading caravans on the ancient route between Jerusalem and Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). In 1948, the ruins of the city provided shelter for refugees from villages in northern Palestine.

The camp, which lies 23 km south of Damascus, was officially established in 1950-1951 on an area of 0.03 square kilometers. The camp was home to 10,000 Palestine refugees by 2011, almost all of whom were live in irregular housing, constructed without any formal approval from the municipality.

Before the conflict in Syria, the camp was already one of the poorest camps in Syria. Most refugees worked as farm workers on Syrian-owned lands, others are wage laborers, while a few commuted to industrial plants. 

The conflict exerted additional pressures. The camp was surrounded by armed opposition groups and many refugee families displaced from other areas of Damascus took refuge in the camp, tripling the number of residents to some 30,000 during the crisis. Two UNRWA schools premises were converted into collective shelters to give accommodation to more than 130 families between 2012 and 2018.  Currently, the camp is home to 12,650 Palestine refugees.

The increase of the camp population has had a negative impact on the camp’s infrastructure, affecting the electric network and the sewerage system. The camp suffers from sporadic sewage blockages due to the increased pressure on the existent sewerage system, which was designed for only 10,000 inhabitants, while there are now significantly more. Water supply resources have also been affected and the camp suffers from water shortages, especially during the summer months.

Many school children have dropped out or work after school hours to support their families. The camp also suffers from a high incidence of inherited diseases such as thalassaemia and sickle-cell anemia.

 

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/10328

Living conditions in Khan Dannun camp have sharply deteriorated due to the lack of financial resources and high unemployment rates wrought by the raging warfare. A transportation crisis has made life difficult in the camp.

Upon more than once occasion, civilians have railed against the mounds of trash and debris piled up in civilian neighborhoods and around the main access roads to the camp, resulting in bed smells and the spread of life-threatening diseases.

Water supplies have also been repeatedly cut off across residential neighborhoods in Khan Dannun, forcing civilians to by drinking water from privately-owned tanks at steep prices.

The situation has been exacerbated by the sanctions implemented by the US as part of the so-called “Caesar Act” targeting anyone doing business with the Assad regime, including in opposition-held zones.

The sanctions are the result of legislation known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, named after the pseudonym of a Syrian who worked with the military police and turned over photographs of thousands of victims of torture by al-Assad's government.

The implementation of the sanctions has led to a further deterioration of the exchange rate of the Syrian pound, resulting in a worse economic situation for vulnerable families whose sole sources of income have been already affected by the unbridled war.

According to UN data, Khan Dannun camp was built several centuries ago to give overnight accommodation to trading caravans on the ancient route between Jerusalem and Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). In 1948, the ruins of the city provided shelter for refugees from villages in northern Palestine.

The camp, which lies 23 km south of Damascus, was officially established in 1950-1951 on an area of 0.03 square kilometers. The camp was home to 10,000 Palestine refugees by 2011, almost all of whom were live in irregular housing, constructed without any formal approval from the municipality.

Before the conflict in Syria, the camp was already one of the poorest camps in Syria. Most refugees worked as farm workers on Syrian-owned lands, others are wage laborers, while a few commuted to industrial plants. 

The conflict exerted additional pressures. The camp was surrounded by armed opposition groups and many refugee families displaced from other areas of Damascus took refuge in the camp, tripling the number of residents to some 30,000 during the crisis. Two UNRWA schools premises were converted into collective shelters to give accommodation to more than 130 families between 2012 and 2018.  Currently, the camp is home to 12,650 Palestine refugees.

The increase of the camp population has had a negative impact on the camp’s infrastructure, affecting the electric network and the sewerage system. The camp suffers from sporadic sewage blockages due to the increased pressure on the existent sewerage system, which was designed for only 10,000 inhabitants, while there are now significantly more. Water supply resources have also been affected and the camp suffers from water shortages, especially during the summer months.

Many school children have dropped out or work after school hours to support their families. The camp also suffers from a high incidence of inherited diseases such as thalassaemia and sickle-cell anemia.

 

Short URL : https://www.actionpal.org.uk/en/post/10328