UN Food Aid to Syria Refugee Camp Resumes After Rebels Withdraw

Residents Stormed Distribution Center

UNRWA food deliveries entered the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Damascus today, the first since Jabhat al-Nusra rebels were reported to have left the camp, which has seen rampant food shortages and even some starvation deaths.

The aid delivery didn’t go nearly as well as planned, however, as starving refugees flooded the distribution center, and UNRWA workers refused to hand anything out for several hours until order was restored. By then, the day was almost over and they soon left.

Civilians trapped in the camp were none too happy with the chaotic scene, demanding the UNRWA make the food distribution more efficient, and calling for refugees to be allowed out of the camp and back to normal civilian life.

Yarmouk is a refugee camp for displaced Palestinians, but before the civil war was largely treated as just another neighborhood in the capital, with Syrians as well as Palestinians living there and people free to come and go as they pleased.

When the rebels took over the camp, a large number of Palestinians fled to neighboring Lebanon. They’ve had a hard time there as well, but nowhere near as bad as those who remained in Yarmouk, which had been held by Islamist rebels for over a year now.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.