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 funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, and financial support has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, deepening poverty and conflict. As a result, the UNRWA General Fund, which supports core essential services and most staffing costs, operates with a large deficit. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large deficits, 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 solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

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