For second year, Andalucía regional government supports UNRWA perinatal care

08 July 2011

8 July 2011

Mrs María del Mar Moreno Ruíz, President of the Ansalusian International Cooperation for Development Agency and Mr Filippo Grandi, UNRWA Commissioner-General, a second collaboration agreement to provide care for Palestine refugees in UNRWA‘s areas of operations in the Middle East.

Following a general agreement signed in 2009 for an indefinite period, this second agreement perpetuates and strengthens Andulisia’s support for improving maternal and child health in UNRWA refugee camps.

With a contribution of EURO 1.8 million, the support of the Andalusian Agency will promote and protect family health through various interventions in maternal and child care, including regular attendance to pregnant women, vaccination of mothers and infants, postnatal monitoring and other related clinical and therapeutic actions.

Poverty among Palestinian refugees, along with movement restrictions in the occupied Palestinian territory, jeopardise the access of women and their children to a quality health service. With support such as this from the Andalusian regional government, UNRWA can keep active 137 primary health clinics that offer not only perinatal and neonatal care, but also family planning services, preventive and palliative care, vaccination campaigns and services for active aging, among others.

More than 1.22 million women and their children under five years old are potential beneficiaries of this contribution during 2011. Thanks to the solidarity of the Andalusian Agency, UNRWA will contribute to one of its four strategic human development goals, a long and healthy life.

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.

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