The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) opened on Sunday a health center that will serve around 300,000 refugees in the Zarqa camp in Jordan.
Being the oldest camp housing Palestinian refugees in Jordan, the Zarqa camp was set up in 1949 by the International Committee of the Red Cross near the town of Zarqa and is one of the four camps established to accommodate the refugees who left as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
According to the UNRWA statement, the new center – financed by the Saudi Development Fund’s donation of nearly $ 2 million while the land was donated by Jordan’s government – will include green spaces and children’s play area and will provide accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini opened the health center at an event on Sunday along with Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Jordan Naif bin Bandar al-Sudairy, who pledged the Kingdom’s full support of Palestine refugees, including through its partnership with UNRWA, to which it has contributed $1.1 billion over the past decade.
Al-Sudairy emphasized Saudi Arabia’s dedication to humanitarian work aimed at alleviating human suffering around the world in cooperation with the UN and international organizations.
Welcoming Saudi Arabia’s donation of $27 million in support of UNRWA core services, Lazzirini, for his part, thanked Saudi Arabia for its continuous, historic support for Palestinian refugees which embodies the Kingdom’s solidarity with their plight, stressing that this health center is a critical investment that will serve thousands of Palestine refugees inside and outside Zarqa camp.
This donation comes as the agency faces a critical funding shortfall this year.
The mission of UNRWA – established by the UNGA in 1949 – is mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million registered Palestine refugees pending a just and lasting solution to their plight and to help them achieve their full human development potential.