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Source: OPEC Fund for International Development
3 March 1999



Vienna, Austria, March 3, 1999

The OPEC Fund for International Development today approved a grant of US$150,000 towards the establishment of a Women's Health Counseling Center in Jericho, Palestine. With the objective of providing a more integrated health care service than has hitherto been available, the new Center will address women's physical as well as psychological needs and will also offer social and legal support.

Although mother and child health care is currently dealt with by most general hospitals in Palestine, activities are largely confined to the immediate requirements of childbirth. Little attention is paid to other important areas such as family planning, post-delivery complications, pre- and post-natal care, and cancers affecting women, to name just a few. The value of a more integrated approach has been successfully demonstrated through a pilot scheme implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the Gaza Strip's Bureij refugee camp. The achievements of this scheme have provided the inspiration for the Jericho project which is also being sponsored by UNFPA.

To be located in one of the city's most underserved areas, the new Counseling Center will endeavor to cover all aspects of women's health care, thereby providing a service which is both specialized and comprehensive. While its broader, long-term objective is to improve the general health status of Palestinian women, the Center's short-term aims include, among others, reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, and promoting better hygiene and nutrition. Within its wider mandate, the Center will also seek to reduce the incidence of domestic violence and offer counseling to help limit the psychological effects of the stressful living environment.

The project will cover not just the setting up of the Center, but also the provision of equipment, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, as well as staff training and the production of health education materials. Once fully operational, it is estimated that approximately 20,000 women annually will benefit from the health care, education and counseling services provided there.

Data Summary

Sector: Health
Project: Establishment of a Women's Health Counseling Center in Jericho
OPEC Fund grant: US$150,000
Beneficiary: Jericho, Palestine
Total cost: US$495,000
Cofinancier: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Executing agencies UNFPA Italian Association for Women in Development Family Planning and Protection Association of the West Bank
Grant administrator: OPEC Fund
Project duration: 2 years

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