The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid supports Palestine refugees with health services in Gaza

23 November 2021
Equipment for the ICU, including ventilators, being delivered to the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The purchase of this equipment was funded by the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid. © 2021 UNRWA Photo by Abdallah Hallaq

23 November 2021
East Jerusalem

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) concluded a US$ 1.5 million agreement project funded by The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSrelief). The project enhanced access to vital health care services for Palestine refugees in Gaza during the COVID-19 crisis. The project enabled UNRWA to maintain services in its 22 health centres, making essential health services available to the some 1.4 million refugees who call the besieged Strip home.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, UNRWA issued an Emergency Flash Appeal to alleviate the strain on the fragile public health system. With generous support from KSrelief, UNRWA was able to ensure that Palestine refugees received health care during the COVID-19 pandemic and lessened the burden on the Gazan public health sector.

As the blockade on Gaza enters its fifteenth year, a majority of Palestine refugees continue to live under the poverty line. The COVID-19 pandemic further compounds the impacts of the blockade on the coastal enclave’s already fragile economy. 

“The Agency’s partnership with KSrelief allowed UNRWA to expand activities of its health programme to manage COVID-19 cases, as well as provide critical personal protective equipment to UNRWA medical staff. In addition, the UNRWA health programme was also able to maintain essential health services, including non-communicable disease care with the provision of insulin and other anti-hypertension medications. The Agency went the extra mile by creating a home delivery system by which Palestine refugees were provided with medication to their doorsteps, in line with COVID-19 best practices. Thank you for making this possible KSrelief,” said Mr. Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza.  

The generous support of donors like KSrelief empowers UNRWA to meet the needs of Palestine refugees in Gaza and served as a vital lifeline for the people of Gaza.

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre was established in 2015 under the high patronage and guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz. KSrelief aims to provide humanitarian aid and relief to those in need outside of the Kingdom’s borders. The Centre has provided humanitarian and development aid to more than 40 countries through international, regional and local partners in place. KSrelief has supported UNRWA across various programmes including health, food assistance and education.

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 5.4 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:

Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson
+962 (0)79 090 0140