CASTILLA LA MANCHA CONTRIBUTES TO IMPROVED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH IN THE WEST BANK
31 October 2014
he Regional Government of Castilla la Mancha, Spain, has contributed EUR 250,000 (US$ 320,000) to an UNRWA project designed to improve environmental health conditions in 13 Palestine refugee camps in the West Bank.
The health status of Palestine refugees is challenged by poor environmental conditions. Access to quality water and sanitation is increasingly problematic in the West Bank, where the total water supply is half the quantity recommended by the World Health Organization.
The deterioration of water and sanitation infrastructure, with leaks and clogged pipes, increases the risk of diseases such as hepatitis A, meningitis, skin and eye infections and diarrhea.
The project will improve water and sanitation services through new sewerage pipes, storm water pipes and manhole covers. It will also support a solid waste disposal system that transports garbage to safe disposal dumps.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.
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