Government of Austria Contributes EUR 1.5 Million to Support UNRWA Health Services in the oPt

22 September 2017
© 2017 UNRWA Photo by Shirley De-Leon-Garnier

The Government of Austria, through the Austrian Development Agency, has contributed EUR 1.5 million (US$ 1,802,885) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of the Agency’s health programme in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

UNRWA currently operates a network of 65 primary health-care facilities and mobile clinics to serve the more than 2 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in the West Bank and Gaza, offering preventive, basic and advanced medical care services tailored to each stage of life.

The contribution from Austria will go support UNRWA delivery of comprehensive primary health care through ensuring adequate and timely availability of essential medicines and supplies, protecting and promoting women and family health, maintaining immunization coverage against vaccine-preventable childhood illness, and providing care for patients with non-communicable diseases.

By supporting the UNRWA ‘Family Health Team’ approach, this contribution will also contribute to addressing cross-cutting issues that impact Palestine refugees’ health such as diet and physical activity, education, gender-based violence, child protection, poverty and community development.

“We are committed to supporting the UNRWA health care programme in a sustainable way for the benefit of each and every Palestine refugee,” said Dr. Andrea Nasi, Austrian Representative in Ramallah. “It is crucial to put the individual at the core of development via a comprehensive human security approach so that he or she can achieve their full potential in society.”

“Ensuring universal access to quality comprehensive services is the vital step to enable Palestinian refugees live long and healthy lives and I sincerely thank Austria for their support,” said Francoise Vanni, Director of the UNRWA Department of External Relations and Communications.

Austria is a long-standing supporter of UNRWA, and especially the Agency’s health programme in the oPt, having contributed in total EUR 21,557,811 (US$ 28,807,804) since 2007.

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.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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