The headquarters of the Bozour Theater Association for Culture and Arts is located in the central region of the Gaza Strip, serving the central camp area (Al-Bureij – Al-Nuseirat – Al-Maghazi Deir Al-Balah) through the center’s direct activities inside the center, and it serves the Gaza Strip as a whole through its mobile activities

The presence of the Bozour Theater Association for Culture and Arts in a middle area between the middle camps allows it to provide direct services to its people from the refugee camps, which are considered the most densely populated in addition to being the most vulnerable

Brief description of the service area

 BUREIJ CAMP

Bureij refugee camp is a comparatively small refugee camp located in the middle of the Gaza Strip. The camp is near Maghazi and Nuseirat refugee camps.

Bureij camp was built in the 1950s to house approximately 13,000 refugees who until then had lived in British army barracks and tents. The refugees who settled in Bureij had mostly come from towns east of Gaza, such as Falouja. Today, the refugee population of Bureij is more than 43,330.

BLOCKADE

The blockade on Gaza has made life more difficult for most camp residents. Unemployment levels have risen dramatically and fewer families can provide for themselves, leaving a staggering proportion of the population dependent on UNRWA’s food assistance.

WATER AND SANITATION

Bureij camp is located close to Wadi Gaza, an open sewage pond from which raw sewage flows directly into the sea. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, up to 80,000 cubic metres of raw or partially treated sewage are pumped out to the ocean in Gaza each day, resulting in serious environmental health risks, including watery and bloody diarrhoea among refugee children.

In the camp, 90 per cent of the water is unfit for human consumption.

STATISTICS

  • Nine school buildings, of which six are single shift and six operate on double shifts, accommodating 12 schools in total
  • One Food Distribution Centre shared with Nuseirat refugee camp
  • One Health Centre
  • One Area Relief and Social Services Office
  • One Maintenance and Sanitation Office.

MAJOR PROBLEMS

  • Electricity cuts
  • High unemployment
  • High population density
  • Lack of availability of construction materials
  • Contaminated water supply and proximity to Wadi Gaza

INFRASTRUCTURE & CAMP IMPROVEMENT

Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Bureij camp. Shelters are built in close vicinity and there is a general lack of recreational and social space. In many cases, residents have had to add extra floors to their shelters to accommodate their families, in some cases without proper design. Many live in substandard conditions.

NUSEIRAT CAMP

A busy and crowded camp, Nuseirat refugee camp is currently home to more than 80,194 refugees. Like Bureij and Maghazi refugee camps, Nuseirat camp is located in in the middle of the Gaza Strip.

Nuseirat, which takes its name from a local Bedouin tribe, initially accommodated 16,000 refugees who fled from the southern districts of Palestine after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, including the coast and Be’er Sheva. Before the camp was formed, refugees lived in a former British military prison in the area.

BLOCKADE

The blockade on Gaza, which has lasted for more than a decade, has made life more and more difficult for nearly all refugees in the camp which is characterized by high unemployment and poverty.  Today, far fewer families can provide for themselves and a staggering proportion of the population is dependent on UNRWA’s food and cash assistance programmes. As in the other refugee camps, the water situation in Nuseirat camp is alarming in terms of both quality and quantity.

STATISTICS

  • 15 school buildings, of which seven are single shift and 18 operate on double shifts, accommodating 25 schools in total
  • One Food Distribution Centre shared with Bureij refugee camp
  • Two Health Centres
  • Two Area Relief and Social Services Offices
  • One Maintenance and Sanitation Office.

MAJOR PROBLEMS

  • Electricity cuts
  • High unemployment and poverty
  • Fishing limits imposed by Israel and collapse of fishing sector
  • High population density
  • Contaminated water supply
  • Lack of availability of construction materials

INFRASTRUCTURE & CAMP IMPROVEMENT

Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Nuseirat camp. Shelters are built in close vicinity and there is a general lack of recreational and social space. In many cases, residents have had to add extra floors to their shelters to accommodate their families, in some cases without proper design. Many live in substandard conditions.

MAGHAZI CAMP

Al-Maghazi refugee camp is located in the centre of the Gaza Strip, south of Bureij camp. It was established in 1949 and is one of the smaller camps in Gaza, both in terms of size and population.

Al-Maghazi is characterised by narrow alleys and high population density, with more than 31,329 refugees housed in an area of no more than 0.6 square kilometres. Most of the refugees who took shelter in Maghazi as they fled the hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war originated from villages in central and southern Palestine.

Like other camps in Gaza, Al-Maghazi suffers from high unemployment and poverty.

STATISTICS

  • Five school buildings of which two are single shift and six operate on double shifts, accommodating eight schools in total
  • One Food Distribution Centre shared with Deir El-Balah refugee camp
  • One Health Centre
  • One Area Relief and Social Services Office
  • One Maintenance and Sanitation Office

MAJOR PROBLEMS

  • Poverty
  • Unemployment
  • Housing shortage
  • Lack of adequate electricity supply

INFRASTRUCTURE & CAMP IMPROVEMENT

Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Al-Maghazi camp. Shelters are built in close vicinity and there is a general lack of recreational and social space. In many cases, residents have had to add extra floors to their shelters to accommodate their families, in some cases without proper design. Many live in substandard conditions.

DEIR EL-BALAH CAMP

Deir El-Balah refugee camp is the smallest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. It is located on the Mediterranean coast, west of a town of the same name, in central Gaza. Deir al-Balah means “Monastery of the Dates”, a reference to the abundant date palm groves in the area.

Deir El-Balah camp initially provided shelter for around 9,000 refugees who had fled from villages in central and southern Palestine as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The refugees originally lived in tents, which were replaced by mud-brick shelters and later by cement block structures. Today, more than 25,569 refugees are living in the camp.

BLOCKADE

Life under the blockade has become increasingly difficult for camp residents as socio-economic conditions have deteriorated significantly and unemployment has risen enormously. Fewer and fewer families can provide for themselves and most of the camp population is now dependent on UNRWA’s food assistance. Basic hygiene is also of great concern in the camp with 90 per cent of the water being unfit for human consumption.

FISHING LIMIT

Like Beach camp, Deir El-Balah camp has been particularly affected by the Israel Defense Forces’ imposition of fishing limits at significantly less than the 20 nautical miles initially agreed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. A diminished fishing catch has caused refugees to lose their livelihoods and poverty to increase. In addition, practices used by the Israeli navy to enforce the fishing limits, including the firing of live ammunition, have raised a range of protection concerns. Overall, 213 shooting incidents were registered in 2017, resulting in one fisherman killed and 14 injured, including one child.

STATISTICS

  • Eight school buildings, of which three are single shift and 10 operate on double shifts, accommodating 13 schools in total
  • One Food Distribution Centre shared with Al-Maghazi refugee camp
  • One Health Centre
  • One Area Relief and Social Services Office
  • One Maintenance and Sanitation Office

MAJOR PROBLEMS

  • Electricity cuts
  • High unemployment
  • Fishing limits imposed by Israel and collapse of fishing sector
  • High population density
  • Contaminated water supply
  • Lack of availability of construction materials

INFRASTRUCTURE & CAMP IMPROVEMENT

Overcrowding and a lack of living space characterize Deir El-Balah camp. Shelters are built in close vicinity and there is a general lack of recreational and social space. In many cases, residents have had to add extra floors to their shelters to accommodate their families, in some cases without proper design. Many live in substandard conditions. In 2016, together with the camp community and other stakeholders, UNRWA developed a camp improvement plan which is now under implementation based on a phased approach and with support from donors.