UN establishes community centre for Syrian refugees in Egypt

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Dec 2012

New centre in 6 October City is established to provide activities, counselling for Syrian refugees

Syrian men hold Syrian national flag during a demonstration against President Bashar Assad in front of the Syrian embassy in Cairo, Egypt, October 2011 (Photo: AP)

A community centre for Syrians living in 6 October City on the outskirts of Cairo will be officially launched on Wednesday by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in collaboration with Tadamon, a local organisation that deals with refugee issues.

According to a statement released by the UN refugee agency, the centre aims to become a gathering venue for Syrian refugees in Egypt to "exchange information and organise social activities and workshops."

The centre will also provide psychosocial support to children and adults.

"Many young children witnessed violent scenes before leaving Syria and girls heard stories about sexual violence as well," said Elizabeth Tan, deputy regional representative of UNHCR in Cairo.

Tan asserted in the statement that providing activities is crucial to help the refugees "regain a sense of normalcy while they are in Egypt."

"Forty-two per cent of Syrian children in Egypt are suffering from exaggerated fear, 26 per cent from lack of concentration, and 25 per cent from sleeping problems and nightmares," added the statement, based on joint assessments by UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP.

According to UNHCR, not less than a quarter of a million Syrians have fled the country since the start of the revolution in March 2011.

In Egypt, most of the Syrian community reside in the satellite city of 6 October, located on the outskirts of the Giza governorate.

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