Italy and UNRWA sign EUR 1.5 million agreement for provision of health care to Palestine refugees in Jordan

15 July 2020
(From left) H.E. Mr. Fabio Cassese and Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, Mr. Mohammed Adar sign a EUR 1.5 million agreement for provision of healthcare to Palestine refugees in Jordan. © 2020 UNRWA Photo by Lubna Hashem

The Ambassador of Italy to Jordan, H.E. Mr. Fabio Cassese and the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Jordan, Mr. Mohammed Adar, signed an EUR 1.5 million contribution to support to UNRWA health programme in Jordan. Financed by the Government of Italy through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), this project will ensure uninterrupted access to medical services provided at the UNRWA Nuzha Health Centre for over 85,000 Palestine refugees living in the area. The project will also ensure that the more than 17,500 Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) in Jordan, including individuals residing in King Abdullah Park, will continue to receive adequate health care including primary, secondary and tertiary services over the next  two years.

The signing ceremony, was attended by the Italian Ambassador to Jordan, H.E. Fabio Cassese, First Secretary of the Italian Embassy, Ms. Valeria Romare, Head of AICS Amman Office, Mr. Michele Morana, AICS Head of Humanitarian programmes, Mr. Antonio Bottone and Mr. Mwafaq Abdulrahman, Director of UNRWA and International Organizations Directorate at the Department of Palestinian Affairs.

Speaking at the ceremony, H.E. Ambassador Cassese said: “With this new funding the Italian Government confirms its support to Jordan’s efforts in favour of the most vulnerable people.” The Ambassador also referred to the continued endeavour of Italy in response to the refugee crisis and in sustaining the health sector. “The Italian Government’s grant is aimed to support the assistance activities provided by UNRWA to a population affected by the prolonged crisis and a protracted displacement, in line with Italy’s contribution to global health based on the principles of universal and equitable access to care,” he said.

Expressing satisfaction of the favourable development of the Italian Cooperation’s input in providing assistance to Palestine refugees displaced by the Syria crisis to Jordan, AICS Amman Director Michele Morana highlighted the relevance of the new partnership with UNRWA in Jordan, and added: “The situational status of PRS now living in their second host country results in vulnerability issues affecting PRS around access to economic opportunities, livelihoods and healthcare. Through this initiative, the Italian Cooperation intends to foster the resilience of Palestine refugees through improved accessibility and availability of healthcare services.”

The Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, Mr. Mohammed Adar expressed his gratitude by saying: “On behalf of UNRWA, I thank the Government of Italy for their generous support towards our health programme in Jordan at this time of great need. This contribution will help us ensure the provision of health care which directly contributes towards the human development of Palestine refugees, including Palestine refugees from Syria.”

UNRWA operates a network of  25 health centres and four mobile dental clinics in Jordan, offering  comprehensive outpatient primary health care to some 2.2 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan.

Background Information: 

Background Information about the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS)

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) established the Amman office in July 2016, with the aim of implementing international cooperation initiatives to improve people’s living conditions, promote sustainable development and cultural heritage, strengthen democratic institutions and rule of law, as well as sustain post-conflict stabilization with particular attention to the Syria crisis. Since 2018, AICS Amman has also been responsible for implementing international cooperation initiatives in Iraq.

For more information about the work of AICS in Jordan, please visit:

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 5.6 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem 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:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140