UNRWA Opens New Health Centre in Irbid

23 April 2014
UNRWA Opens New Health Centre in Irbid


The Director of UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Operations in Jordan, Roger Davies, and the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the United States, Stephanie Williams, opened today the newly constructed, American-funded health centre in Irbid camp.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Ms. Williams said: “The United States government is committed to supporting Palestinian refugees in Jordan and throughout the region. In 2013, the United States contributed more than US$ 294 million to UNRWA.  Our aim in supporting this US$ 1.9 million project is foremost to increase refugees’ access to primary health services, and to improve the quality of the services provided.” 

The newly constructed health centre has merged two old health centres in Irbid, which were constructed in the 1960s to meet the needs of the Palestine refugee population living in the Irbid area at the time. They were built to serve much smaller populations – the population of Palestine refugees in Jordan has increased more than three times since 1965. Therefore, the two health centres became overstretched, with extremely cramped working conditions. 

Thanking the American donation, Mr. Davies said : “Irbid New Health Centre is considered a one-stop shop where Palestine refugees can get more than one health-care service in the same building, such as general clinic, maternal and child health care and non-communicable diseases health care. This will hopefully enhance access to health-care services provided by UNRWA in the camp.” He continued, “In addition to constructing this new building, the American donation provided funds to construct extensions at the Jerash Health Centre, which were badly needed to improve the services provided to Palestine refugees in Jerash camp.”

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
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+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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