UNRWA is the main comprehensive Primary Health Care provider for Palestine refugees in the Near East and has been the largest humanitarian operation in the region for over 60 years. UNRWA’s mandate on health is to protect and promote the health of Palestine refugees registered in the Agency’s five Fields of operation (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank). It aims for them to achieve the highest attainable level of health as indicated in the first Human Development Goal, “A Long and Healthy Life”, of the UNRWA Medium Term Strategy 2010-2015. Under this goal UNRWA has three strategic objectives: to ensure universal access to quality, comprehensive primary health care; to protect and promote family health and to prevent and control diseases.
UNRWA works toward achieving these objectives through a range of services that address the needs of refugees across the lifecycle phases of an individual. A healthy life is a continuum of phases from infancy to old age. Each one of these phases has specific needs for the maintenance of good health. UNRWA therefore adopts a Life Cycle Approach to health care, providing packages of prevention and care that are best suited to each phase of an individual’s life. In 2011, the UNRWA Health Department was confronted with a situation of changing health care needs, increasing demand for services and rising health care costs, while at the same time facing a stagnating resource base. New approaches to health services provision had to be found to meet the needs of Palestine refugees in the 21st century. This report summarizes the main achievements of UNRWA’s Health Programme in 2011 and is structured in three sections: Section 1 reports on the innovation strategies being implemented to provide quality health services to Palestine refugees in a changing environment, Section 2 provides information on the performance of health service delivery programmes and activities in 2011 and Section 3 contains self-explanatory data tables and trends on major indicators for each service delivery area.