Probitas Foundation Supports UNRWA Health

28 January 2014

East Jerusalem

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is proud to welcome a new partner from Spain, the Probitas Foundation.

On 29 November 2013, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, UNRWA and Probitas joined forces to develop a project to improve diagnosis capabilities in UNRWA laboratories in Jordan. Probitas will provide EUR 50,000 (US$ 68,005) to support the project and improve the prevention, detection and follow-up of chronic diseases, especially diabetes.

The initiative will be developed in two of the Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Amman New Camp (Wihdat) and Irbid, which are home to 22 per cent of the total refugee population in Jordan with diabetes. In these camps, 4,141 already-diagnosed patients will be treated through glycosylated haemoglobin measurements, proven to be a better indicator than traditional glucose measurements. Probitas will also support the training of 10 technicians and 1 laboratory manager, while the catchment population of 300,000 will benefit from more specialized attention from laboratory technicians.

In Jordan, UNRWA attends over 2 million Palestine refugees, an estimated 39 per cent of whom have diabetes, which is one of the country’s leading mortality causes. In recent years, the prevalence of diabetes and other chronic diseases has increased; along with the recent influx of Palestinians fleeing the conflict in Syria, the increasing pressure on UNRWA health services makes support from partners like Probitas increasingly important to the Agency and Palestine refugees.

Background Information

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

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106  million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724