In Syria, more than 496,000 Palestine refugees live in nine official and three unofficial camps. The Syrian Government has taken on the responsibility for providing basic utilities in the camps, but UNRWA provides basic environmental health services including sewage and waste disposal and provision of safe drinking water.
Many of the water and sewerage systems need upgrading, while some camps still lack networks altogether. Poor sanitation in the camps poses health risks for the refugees. In most of the refugee camps shelters remain very basic, and many require structural rehabilitation.
UNRWA cooperates with the General Administration for Palestine Arab Refugees (GAPAR), a department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, which was established in 1950.