UN / UNRWA

06-Apr-2015 00:01:01
The UN’s top official dealing with Palestinian refugees today said  refugees in the besieged  Yarmouk are facing “severe” conditions and those who want to leave should be allowed “an orderly and safe evacuation.” UNIFEED - UNTV
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STORY: UN / UNRWA
TRT: 1:30
SOURCE: UNIFEED-UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
DATELINE: 6 APRIL 2015, NEW YORK CITY / AMMAN JORDAN
SHOTLIST
RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

6 APRIL 2015, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, press briefing room with Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East on video screen, in a transmission from Jordan

3. Cutaway, reporters

4. SOUNDBITE (English) with Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East:
” The situation the inhabitants of Yarmouk currently face is one of the most severe ever. And you now that they have gone through much over the past two years in terms of being deprived of the possibility to move freely out of the camp. This is a camp that has been besieged but also with action by armed groups inside the camp for the last two years have been very threatening to their lives and their livelihoods”

5 Cutaway, photographer

6. SOUNDBITE (English) with Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East:
“Solutions meaning, again exerting influence on the parties to better respect those who want to stay, or who decide to stay inside the camp, but then also to think about possible measures that would facilitate an orderly and safe evacuation of those who wish to leave the camp.”

7. Wide shot, closing of the press conference
STORYLINE
The UN’s top official dealing with Palestinian refugees today said refugees in the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria are facing “severe” conditions and those who want to leave should be allowed “an orderly and safe evacuation.”

Speaking by video from Jordan, Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said “” The situation the inhabitants of Yarmouk currently face is one of the most severe ever. And you now that they have gone through much over the past two years in terms of being deprived of the possibility to move freely out of the camp. This is a camp that has been besieged but also with action by armed groups inside the camp for the last two years have been very threatening to their lives and their livelihoods.”

Krähenbühl said those countries that could should exert “influence on the parties to better respect those who want to stay, or who decide to stay inside the camp, but then also to think about possible measures that would facilitate an orderly and safe evacuation of those who wish to leave the camp.”

Last month Krähenbühl visited Syria and called for greater access to assist Palestinians and other refugees in the country.
Sunday UNRWA issued a statement saying, “Never has the hour been more desperate in the Palestine refugee camp of Yarmouk, in Damascus. We demand that all parties exercise maximum restraint and abide by their obligations under international law to protect civilians.”

UNRWA called on concerned States to urgently exercise their authority and influence in order to end the fighting in Yarmouk for the sake of civilian lives and to alleviate human suffering. Meanwhile, humanitarian access had to be increased and secure conditions established under which the agency would be able to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance and civilians could be evacuated.

The agency said that the international community, including UN bodies, should be seized of the “critical situation” without delay and should ensure that all civilians are protected in accordance with the UN charter and international law.

Failure to do so could lead to the gravest and most appalling of consequences for the more than 18,000 civilians who have been trapped in Yarmouk for over two years. Since 1 April, it has been the scene of intense fighting and it is virtually impossible for civilians to leave, as any attempt to move in the open brings high risk.

“The lives of civilians in Yarmouk have never been more profoundly threatened,” said UNRWA's press release. “Men, women and children – Syrians and Palestinians alike – are cowering in their battered homes in profound fear, desperate for security, food and water, deeply concerned by the grave perils that may yet come, as hostilities continue.”

Among the besieged residents of Yarmouk are 3,500 children, who have been reliant on UNRWA's irregular distributions of food and other assistance for over a year.

“The level of our aid has been well below the minimum required,” said UNRWA's statement, which stressed the agency's readiness to resume assistance to the civilian population as soon as hostilities cease. “Potable water is now unavailable inside Yarmouk and the meagre health facilities that existed have been overrun by conflict. The situation is extremely dire and threatens to deteriorate even further.”






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