The Red Cross established Am’ari camp in 1949 within the municipal bounds of al-Bireh, providing tents to refugees from the cities of Lydd, Jaffa and Ramla, as well as from the villages of Beit Dajan, Deir Tarif, Abu Shoush, Nanaa, Sadoun Janzeh and Beit Naballa.
Like other West Bank camps, Am’ari was established on land UNRWA leased from the government of Jordan.
UNRWA took responsibility for the camp in 1950, constructing housing units with concrete ceilings. By 1957, UNRWA had replaced all tents with concrete shelters. Families of up to five people received one-room shelters, while families with more than five members received two-room shelters.
Today, the camp covers 0.93 square kilometres, and less than half a metre separates most shelters. Ventilation in shelters is very poor. The camp is fully linked to municipal electricity and water grids.
Following the redeployment of the Israeli army in 1995, the camp came under Palestinian Authority control.
The unemployment rate stands at 27 per cent.
The camp's football team has won the Palestine football championship several times and has been designated to represent Palestine in regional and international competitions.
- Over 10,500 registered refugees
- Two schools. The girls’ elementary school operates in two shifts.
- One food distribution centre
- One health centre
- One emergency physiotherapy unit
- One community-based rehabilitation centre
- One children’s centre
- One women’s programme centre
- Demographic profile:
Programmes in the camp
- Lack of space
- Poor ventilation
- High unemployment
- Overcrowded schools