JERUSALEM, Saturday, May 04, 2019 (WAFA) - The Government of Italy contributed 1.9 million euros to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the provision of primary health care at six health centers in Gaza for a period of six months in 2019, according to an UNRWA press release.
This contribution will help provide some 450,000 medical consultations and benefit approximately 340,000 Palestine refugees, it said.
Expressing his gratitude, Marc Lassouaoui, Chief of Donor Relations, UNRWA Department of External Relations and Communications, thanked Italy for its “continued and generous support towards our health program in Gaza at this time of great need. This contribution will help us ensuring the provision of health care which directly contributes towards the human development of Palestine refugees.”
The Consul General of Italy to Jerusalem, Fabio Sokolowicz, restated Italy’s longstanding support of the health sector in Palestine, underscoring the crucial importance of ensuring primary health care in the Gaza strip. “Since 2012 alone,” he said, “the Government of Italy has contributed over 60 million euros that enabled UNRWA to continue providing vital services to Palestine refugees.”
Cristina Natoli, Head of Office, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) said: “Through this project, AICS reaffirms both its commitment as a lead donor agency in the health sector in Palestine and its dedication to supporting Palestine refugees in Gaza.”
The Government of Italy is strong supporter of the Agency. In 2018 alone, Italy’s support of approximately 15 million euros ensured that the Agency would be able to continue to provide vital services to Palestine refugees, as the Agency faced the largest budget deficit since its inception with the US, UNRWA’s biggest donor with $365 million every year, cancelling abruptly last year all of its contribution.