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Photo of the Day: People line up for aid in destroyed Syrian city

Refugee camp in Damascus, Syria

The UN agency tasked with supporting Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, published the above image earlier this week. It was taken during a distribution drive in the Syrian Yarmouk refugee camp in the capital city of Damascus. Humanitarians have struggled to provide humanitarian assistance to people in the most embattled parts of Syria. The photograph, taken January 31, captures the devastation caused by the fighting and how many people are affected.

The Commissioner General of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, visited the camp this week as a part of recent distributions by the agency to people living in the camp. Humanitarian access has been non-existent since July, before partial access was granted in January. Serious concerns remain about cases of severe malnutrition and the physical and emotional harm caused by the fighting.

“I am deeply disturbed and shaken by what I observed today,” said Grandi in a release.

“The Palestine refugees with whom I spoke were traumatized by what they have lived through, and many were in evident need of immediate support, particularly food and medical treatment. What I have seen and heard today underlines the timeliness of the UN Security Council resolution 2139 on Humanitarian Access and the need for all sides to implement the resolution without fail. ”


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]