Monaco delegation visits UNRWA Lebanon Field Office

25 November 2016
Courtesy of the Principality of Monaco Delegation

On 9 November, Programme Coordinator Emilie Silvestre and Programme Officer Laetitia Vecchierini from the Government of the Principality of Monaco visited the UNRWA Lebanon Field Office to see first-hand the implementation and achievements of Monaco-funded projects. 

Since 2013, the project ‘Improving Diabetes Care for Palestine Refugees in Lebanon’ has strengthened the quality of diabetes care for Palestine refugees in Lebanon, especially as related to the prevention and early detection of disease complications and associated illnesses. The recent American University of Beirut survey on the socioeconomic status of Palestine refugees in Lebanon 2015 showed that 6.7 per cent of Palestine refugees in Lebanon (PRL) and 4.8 per cent of Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) suffer from diabetes, suggesting that this intervention is of critical importance. The Monaco-funded project is allowing Palestine refugees in Lebanon to benefit from endocrinology and clinical dietician services available at UNRWA health centres in all areas. 

The Monaco delegation visited Shatila refugee camp and had the opportunity of meeting and discussing the positive outcomes of the project with trainees at the Shatila Health Centre. The delegation also visited the Beirut Polyclinic, where they witnessed the utilization of equipment and laboratory kits needed to screen and monitor diabetes mellitus. They also attended a diet awareness session and a discussion with patients about diabetes, how to manage it and how to prevent it through a proper diet. 

As part of the project, health awareness campaigns were also conducted and education materials such as posters and pamphlets were produced to inform Palestine refugees about preventive measures, including advice on diet, risk factors and early symptoms. 

Thanks to the support of Monaco, 40 medical officers and 35 nurses selected from UNRWA health clinics and centres were trained on the screening, early identification and management of diabetes mellitus by the Lebanese University. 

“Given a continued shortfall of funds affecting UNRWA’s core service provision, the partnership and support from Monaco to improve health care services for Palestine refugees in Lebanon is invaluable to the Agency,” said UNRWA Deputy Director Sebastien Laplanche. 

Monaco has been contributing substantially to the Agency’s health projects since 2011, initially on cardiovascular care and currently on diabetes. “It is our State’s responsibility to contribute to addressing refugees’ needs and working with UNRWA is one part of our response,” underlined Bénédicte Schutz, Director of the International Cooperation Office in Monaco.

The partnership with Monaco will be further strengthened with the recent pledge for a 2017-2019 contribution to the Medical Hardship Fund (MHF). The Medical Hardship Fund ensures better access to treatment for poor and vulnerable patients with severe and chronic health conditions. 

About the International Cooperation of Monaco

The international development policy of the Government of Monaco is focused on fighting poverty. In accordance with national policies of partner countries, Monaco intervenes in three priority areas: health, education and socioeconomic integration. Each year, Monaco provides support to more than 130 projects in 12 partner countries in Subsaharan Africa and the MENA region. 

For more information, please contact:
Direction de la Coopération Internationale
Tél. : +377 98.98.44.88 
[email protected] 

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.