JERUSALEM, Monday, July 22, 2019 (WAFA) - The Government of Austria signed today an agreement amounting to EUR 1.95 million with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s health program in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), according to a press release.
Guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on health and standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNRWA delivers basic health services from its 43 health centers across the West Bank, and is responsible for contributing to a healthy living environment for Palestine refugees, said the release.
UNRWA fielded some 8.5 million patient consultations across its five fields of operation during 2018, including some 1 million consultations in the West Bank. The Agency’s efforts to provide life-saving health care to Palestine refugees is part of the joint mission of the UN and host governments to address the disparities in social determinants of health and to achieve health equity.
The contribution from Austria will support the protection of Palestine refugees’ health and the reduction in disease burden. Funds will go towards ensuring adequate and timely availability of essential medicines and supplies, as well as educational materials in UNRWA health centers and clinics in the occupied Palestinian territory, said the UNRWA press release.
“We are grateful to the long-standing partnership with UNRWA which gives us the certainty that quality health services are provided to Palestinian refugees. In particular, we welcome the approach of the family health team as well as the urgently needed psychosocial support interventions for Palestinian refugees suffering from the current situation and status” said Astrid Wein, Austrian Representative in Ramallah.
“On behalf of the Agency, I thank and commend the Austrian government for nearly doubling its support to UNRWA health program thus responding to the Agency’s call for increased support for basic services it provides at a time of great needs for the Agency,” said Marc Lassouaoui, Chief of Donor Relations.
Austria is a long-standing supporter of UNRWA, and especially the Agency’s health program, having contributed a total of EUR 10 million to the health program in the oPt since 2011.