Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip who depend on the health services of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will soon receive much-needed medical equipment thanks to a generous contribution of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO).
IICO’s contribution of more than US $ 500,000 will provide maternal and child health equipment, including ultrasound machines, ultrasound dopplers and fetal heart detectors to the 22 health centers of the operating Agency. in the Gaza Strip. The contribution comes as the agency struggles to fulfill its mandate to provide essential services amid a historic funding gap that has put 5.7 million Palestinian refugees at risk.
UNRWA health centers in the Gaza Strip record some four million patient visits each year. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with 14 years of the suffocating blockade, devastated the local economy, fueling an unemployment rate of 49% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
UNRWA has provided efficient and reliable humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees for 70 years. The Agency’s services include free health care and education, food and cash assistance, and microcredit loans to 5.7 million Palestinian refugees facing extreme hardship in Jordan, Gaza Strip, South Africa. Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Last month, the Agency announced that its current and historic funding gap could jeopardize its ability to provide essential relief and development services in all five areas of operation.
The IICO is an independent, multi-faceted charity that provides funds to support strategic and sustainable development projects around the world. The Kuwait-based organization aims to alleviate the devastating impact of poverty, disease, illiteracy and unemployment in disadvantaged communities around the world.