Austria donates 1.95 million euros to UNRWA to strengthen health services in the Palestinian territories

The Austrian government today signed an agreement worth 1.95 million euros with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the Agency's health program in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Guided by the United Nations sustainable development goals on health and WHO standards, UNRWA provides basic health services through 43 health centers in the West Bank and is responsible for contributing to a healthy living environment for Palestine refugees. The Agency provided some 8.5 million satisfactory consultations in its five regions of operations during 2018, including about one million consultations in the West Bank. UNRWA's efforts to provide life-saving health care for Palestine refugees are part of the joint mission of the United Nations and host Governments to address disparities in the social determinants of health and health equity.

This donation from Austria will support the protection of the health of Palestine refugees and reduce the burden of disease.

Funds will go to ensure that medicines and basic medical supplies are available in an adequate and timely manner, as well as educational materials at UNRWA health centers and clinics in the occupied Palestinian territory.

"We are grateful for the long partnership with UNRWA, which gives us the assurance that quality health services are provided to Palestinian refugees," said Astrid Win, Austria's representative in Ramallah. "Specifically, we welcome the approach of the family health team and the psychosocial interventions that are urgently needed To Palestinian refugees suffering from the current situation and circumstances. "

"On behalf of UNRWA, I thank and commend the Austrian Government for almost doubling its support for UNRWA's health program and thus responding to the Agency's appeal for greater support for the core services it provides at the time," said Mark Laswawi, head of UNRWA's Donor Relations Unit. Marked by the Agency's urgent need ".

Austria is an old supporter of UNRWA, especially the Agency's health program, and has donated € 10 million to the health program in the occupied Palestinian territories since 2011.

UNRWA is facing increasing demand for its services because of the increasing number of registered Palestine refugees, the degree of vulnerability to which they live and their worsening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely through voluntary contributions, while financial support has not matched the level of growth in needs. As a result, UNRWA's program budget, which works to support the delivery of key services, suffers from a large deficit. UNRWA calls upon all Member States to work collectively and to make all possible efforts to fund the Agency's budget in full. UNRWA emergency programs and major projects, which also suffer from large deficits, are funded through separate funding gateways.

UNRWA was established as a United Nations agency by resolution of the General Assembly in 1949 and was mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 Palestine refugees registered with it. Its mission is to provide assistance to Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip so that they can realize their full human development potential until a just and lasting solution to their plight is reached. UNRWA services include education, health care, relief, social services, infrastructure, camp improvement, protection and microcredit.


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