UNRWA and Japan launch Mother and Child Health Care Handbook

30 June 2010

30 June 2010

Parents and children looking at handbookToday UNRWA launched the Mother and Child Health (MCH) handbook at al-Jalil health centre in Yarmouk. The project, funded by the Japanese government at the cost of US$37,500, aims to improve the maternal and child health of Palestinian refugees in Syria.

The handbook is an important tool to unify existing services and methods of recording and reporting among different health providers. It also offers useful advice and information to newly pregnant women. The handbook is just one component of a larger initiative that includes the training of medical staff and the implementation of awareness-building activities.

Speaking at the launch, Roger Hearn, director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, thanked the Japanese government for its generous contribution to UNRWA and said: “We are immensely grateful to the government of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).”  He also expressed his gratitude to the government of Syria for its ongoing support of Palestine refugees.

Kiyoshi Mihara, deputy head of mission at the Embassy of Japan to Syria, underlined the commitment of the government of Japan to continue supporting UNRWA’s activities in partnership with other donors and the Syrian government.   

Adnan Munawar, deputy director-general of the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees (GAPAR) thanked the government of Japan for their “generous and reliable support” to Palestinian refugees, highlighting the important role of this publication in promoting mother and child health.

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, provides education, healthcare, relief and social services, and micro-credit services to over 470,000 Palestine refugees in Syria. 

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Hala Mukhles
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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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