Spanish Foreign Minister Visits Talbieh Camp in Jordan

02 May 2019

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union (EU) and Cooperation of Spain, His Excellency (H.E) Josep Borrell Fontelles, paid a landmark visit to a health centre run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Talbieh refugee camp located south of Amman, Jordan.

The UNRWA Talbieh health centre provides primary health care to over 10,000 people and covers a wide range of services, such as maternal and child health care, treatment of chronic diseases, as well as mental and psychosocial care.

H.E. Fontelles highlighted the essential role that UNWRA plays in supporting 10,000 Palestine refugees in the camp.

Fontelles was accompanied by the Spanish Ambassador to Jordan, Her Excellency Aránzazu Bañón Dávalos and the Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, Mrs. Sallee Gregory, who briefed the Spanish delegation on the situation of Palestine refugees in Jordan, namely those who live in and around Talbieh camp.

Earlier this year, the Spanish Embassy in Jordan started covering the operating costs of two UNRWA health centres in Talbieh and Madaba refugee camps. This generous support was made possible through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

Mrs. Sallee expressed her gratitude to Spain, saying: “We are very grateful for the extraordinary efforts by the Government of Spain to support the Agency, and truly value the role that Spain plays in advocating for Palestine refugees. Just one look at this health centre will show that every euro invested was well spent on the health and dignity of these patients.”

In 2018, the Government of Spain, various autonomous communities, city councils, the Spanish private sector and individuals contributed over EUR 19.5 million to UNRWA, helping the Agency survive its largest budgetary deficit to date.

In Jordan, UNRWA provided some 1,613,786 health-care consultations from 26 health centres across the country.

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.

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