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United Nations High Commission for Refugees - IDIA

United Nations High Commission for Refugees - IDIA

PhilMUN 2010 9 these

PhilMUN 2010 9 these children continue to face gaps in day-to-day protection of human rights. 26 UNRWA has been obtaining favorable results with respect to the health of refugee children by investing in maternal healthcare and infant mortality rates among Palestine refugee children are less then half the world average and compare favorably with host authorities. However, there still remains a lack of significant attention, with respect to refugee children, to access to health care, nutrition, mental health and disability rehabilitation. 27 2004 Geneva Conference on the Humanitarian Needs of Palestinian Refugees The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SADC) and UNRWA hosted the first conference in 54 years with the purpose of planning humanitarian and human development strategies for the 4.1 million Palestine refugees. The conference took place in Geneva, Switzerland and was attended by 67 countries and 34 international organizations. The main purpose of the conference was to raise international support for the needs of refugees and focused on the wellbeing of Palestinian refugee children; housing, infrastructure and the environment in refugee camps; the socio-economic development of the refugees and the management and mobilization of resources on behalf of the refugees. Among these issues were the need for the respect for international humanitarian law, freedom of movement for refugees and improved efforts on community development and access to employment. 28 The conference also prioritized the needs of the refugees and aimed to meet those needs within five years while renewing financial commitment to UNRWA. One of the main discussions at the conference revolved around the detrimental effects of the environmental components of refugee camps, such as restrictions in camp expansion combined with demographic growth, poor 26 “Palestinian Refugee Children: International Protection and Durable Solutions”. Information & Discussion Brief. Issue No. 10. Badil Resource Center. 2007. http://www.badil.org/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=7&category_id=2&v mcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=4 27 “Promoting the Well-being of the Palestine Refugee Child”. UNICEF. 2004 http://www.un.org/unrwa/genevaconference/english/wg1_dp6may04.pdf 28 “67 Countries and 34 International Organisations Gather for Largest Ever Conference on Palestine Refugees” Press Release. UNRWA. http://www.un.org/unrwa/genevaconference/press_releases/geneva_pr01.pdf. (Accessed 11/22/2009)

PhilMUN 2010 10 solid waste management, and sanitation problems. 1 August 2008 Neirab Rehabilitiation Project The Neirab camp is the largest and most impoverished Palestinian refugee camp in Syria and was established after the first wave of refugees in 1948. The population density of the camp, which housed over 18,000 refugees, was very high: 89 refugees per 1,000 square meters. 29 The total area of the camp is 148,000 square meters and was built around army barracks constructed by the Allied Forces during the Second World War. 30 While UNRWA has been able to make essential improvements the barracks, the infrastructure and housing are the most unhealthy and unsafe among all the camps in Syria. Refugees are not protected from the elements and are forced to withstand the freezing winter temperatures as well as the scorching summer heat. Poor sanitation and rodent infestation of the camp have lead to severe public health problems. 31 To address these issues, UNRWA and the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society are currently implementing the Neirab Rehabilitation Project, which has set has set a precedent in utilizing “an innovative approach to redevelopment work emphasizing community participation in rehabilitating the sixty-year old dilapidated shelters.” 32 In addition to creating new housing units and a new community health clinic, the plan took into consideration both the physical structure and elements of the camp as well as the change in the socio-economic situation of the refugee community. Thus, the project was approached as an integrated urban development plan, addressing health, housing, education, by improving public infrastructure, schools and health facilities, and the socioeconomic needs of the refugees, by of community mobilization and increasing 29 “UNRWA Revamps Northern Syrian Refugee Camp. Brooke Anderso. Special to the Daily Star. 2003. http://www.un.org/unrwa/news/articles/archive/dailystar-oct03.html (Accessed 11/22/2009) 30 “UNRWA Implements Neirab Rehabilitation Project in Aleppo in Syria” Aljazeera 1/10/2009. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/print.php?newid=273732 (Accessed 11/22/2009) 31 “Neirab Refugee Camp”. UNRWA. http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/syria/neirab.html 32 “Rehabilitation of 60-year old Shelters Begins With Support From UAE Red Crescent”. UNRWA Press Release. 28 June 2008. http://www.un.org.sy/press/16(UAERC)English.pdf (Accessed 11/22/2009)

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