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palestinians in syria, yarmouk campThe 22-month old conflict in Syria has displaced half of the country’s 500,000 Palestinian refugees, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said on Friday.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said 20,000 of the estimated 250,000 Palestinians displaced by the conflict had fled to neighbouring Lebanon and almost 3,500 to Jordan.

At least 400,000 Palestinian refugees have been left in need of humanitarian aid, the agency said, adding that 13 people were killed in violence in and around Damascus over the past week.

Eight members of UNRWA itself have been arrested or have disappeared.

“While all civilians in Syria are bearing the brunt of the violence, the present situation of the Palestinians in Syria is exceptional,” UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi said in a statement last week.

“They are becoming two-time refugees,” Grandi said.

Syria’s conflict, which began as a peaceful uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011 and quickly turned into a full-scale civil war, has killed more than 60,000 people, according to UN figures.

UNRWA says it needs $91 million to deal with the resulting humanitarian crisis.

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