Damascus governorate: No alternative housing for residents of Yarmouk Camp and al-Qaboun

A group of women from the Yarmouk Camp checking on their houses (Facebook)

A group of women from the Yarmouk Camp checking on their houses (Facebook)


Damascus governorate has announced that the residents of the Yarmouk Camp and al-Qaboun area in Damascus will not be compensated with alternative accommodation after the publication of the two areas’ regulatory plan.

The Director of the technical studies in the governorate, Mu’ammar Dakak, said during a session of the Damascus Governorate Council on 6 July, that the people of the Yarmouk Camp and al-Qaboun would not be compensated with alternative housing as a result of the reorganization of the two areas, within the Legislative Decree No. 5 of 1982.

Dakak said the residents would be offered regulatory shares instead.

Decree No. 5 of 1982 provides for laying urban planning foundations by Syria’s Ministry of Public Works and Housing to meet the communities’ requirements within the available means.

Dakak attributed the reason for not granting alternative housing to the substantial financial burden on Damascus governorate, after paying the rent allowance to the residents who have been evacuated by the governorate.

According to Dakak, the governorate was unable to secure the financing necessary for the construction of alternative housing.

Dakak’s statement brings back the subject of the alternative accommodation problem in the “Marota City” regulatory project in Khalaf al-Razi area.

Eight years have passed since the launching of the “Marota City” project; still, the residents have not yet been provided alternative accommodation due to the governorate’s lack of funding, according to its executive office member, Faisal Sarawi, in July 2019.

Damascus governorate has previously declared its approval to announce the organizational plan of the al-Qaboun area and the regulatory map of the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus outside the framework of Law No. 10 of 2018.

This plan was issued within the framework of Law No. 23 of 2015 that provides for “organizing the process of land preparation for construction, according to the general organizational plan and the detailed regulatory plan in the urban development schemes approved by one of the two following methods, the owner’s division, and the regulatory planning of the administrative authority.”

The governorate mentioned last week that the plan would be announced to the public within a month to receive objections of the rights holders and the people of the region.

Meanwhile, the new regulatory plan of the Yarmouk Camp evoked reactions and objections by the Palestinian refugee communities of Syria, as the “Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria” (AGPS) called on Damascus governorate to abandon the new regulatory plan.

The AGPS said that the Syrian regime’s government dissolved the local committee of the Yarmouk Camp, which was affiliated to Syria’s Ministry of Local Administration since its establishment in 1964, which incorporated the camp into Damascus governorate to be one of its districts.

According to the “Action Group,” the camp’s residents rejected the organizational plan and considered it as blatant aggression on their properties of houses, shops, and corporations.

The plan is placing them in front of a new disaster, according to the AGPS.

The AGPS confirmed that “the new regulatory plan carries significant changes to the urban reality that prevailed before the Syrian crisis.”

It asserted that “some houses and streets will be removed and their inhabitants would not be able to find them again.”



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