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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
23 June 2006

Press Release No. 2/2006
21 June 2006

UNRWA Opens US-funded Qabr Essit Health Centre Reconstruction

Damascus - Stephen Seche, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Damascus, today inaugurated UNRWA’s reconstructed Qabr Essit Health Centre.

The centre was financed by a contribution of US$ 316,000 from the Government of the United States. The original Qabr Essit health centre was built in the early 1950’s to care for some 4,000 Palestine refugees. However, more than 22,500 refugees now rely on its services. Overcrowding means patients are forced to wait for long periods in hallways, and to share consultation rooms with other patients.

The centre contains medical examination rooms, a mother-and-child unit, a dispensary, and a medical laboratory. This brings to 23 the number of UNRWA health centres in Syria. "This much improved facility is just one of many health and education facilities financed by the US Government to benefit Palestine refugees in Syria", said Stephen Seche.

The US Government has been a consistent and substantial donor, supporting UNRWA services. Since September 1998, the US Government has provided UNRWA in Syria with US$ 5,131,106 million in funds for special projects.

Thanking the US Government for its continued support to UNRWA, Panos Moumtzis, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria said, “The Agency is very appreciative of the support of the American people in responding to the needs of the Palestine refugees through UNRWA services”. He also thanked Syria for the many ways in which the Government facilitated UNRWA’s work. Ali Mustafa, Director-General of the General Authority for Palestine Arab Refugees (GAPAR), expressed appreciation to the US Government and UNRWA. Mustafa stated that the inauguration of the new premises, accomplished by UNRWA with funds from the USA, bears witness to the international community’s commitment to providing support and assistance to Palestine refugees, pending a just and durable solution. He also thanked the Syrian Government for its generous support to Palestine refugees living in Syria.

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, is a humanitarian and human development Agency providing education, health care, social services, micro-credit and emergency relief to over 4 million registered refugees living in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. In Syria, the Agency provides assistance to over 430,000.

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