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Source: UN Development Programme (UNDP)
23 May 2003

UN-sponsored, Italian-financed cancer centre opens in West Bank

23 May A pioneering cancer care facility has opened at Beit Jala Government Hospital in the West Bank in a $2.2 million project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and financed by Italy as part of its campaign to improve the quality of health care for Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The new Onco-haematology Centre provides screening, diagnosis and treatment of tumours and related blood disorders. It offers comprehensive adult and paediatric services, including day care and an outpatient clinic, a tissue pathology laboratory, and a diagnostic endoscopy unit for examining internal organs.

"The Government of Italy has shown its deep commitment to assisting the Palestinian people in these difficult times, especially in the district of Bethlehem, which assumes a special historical significance" Timothy Rothermel, Special Representative of the UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, said. "This centre marks a bright spot in the path of peace."

The funds are part of a $9.4 million contribution from Italy to Palestinian health care.

Dr. Munther Al-Sharif, Palestinian Deputy Minister of Health, commended the strong relations between the Italian and Palestinian peoples and the important assistance provided by the Italian Government to the Palestinian National Authority. He also praised the role of UNDP and the Italian Cooperation Office in supporting Palestinian health programmes.

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