UAE provides aid to almost 100,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan

A total of Dh7 million in aid earmarked for health care reached refugees in the Zaatari and Azraq camps in Jordan, of which 78 per cent are women and children.
Children playing in the desert Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, near the border with Syria. Khalil Mazraawi / AFP
Children playing in the desert Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, near the border with Syria. Khalil Mazraawi / AFP

ABU DHABI // Humanitarian support from the Government reached 98,710 Syrians living in Jordanian refugee camps last year, according to a United Nations report.

A total of Dh7 million in aid earmarked for health care reached refugees in the Zaatari and Azraq camps in Jordan, of which 78 per cent are women and children.

The funds, part of a Dh18 million aid package contributed by the Government, were used to support services delivered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The remaining amount was allocated to water and sanitation.

According to a UNHCR progress report, the aid covered more than 200,000 primary healthcare consultations, 3,000 baby deliveries, and 16,000 referrals for secondary or tertiary health care.

Mental health services, reproductive health consultations, and treatment for individuals suffering from severe acute malnutrition were also covered.

The latest reports noted significant increases in the amount of individuals who received treatment in both camps, compared to an earlier report released in November of last year.

“The UAE is committed to improving the lives of those in need, and has worked persistently to alleviate the conditions of Syrian refugees since the crisis began, and among the critical priorities for this refugee population is the provision of health services,” said Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development.

“We have been working closely with UNHCR to ensure that the UAE’s contribution delivers positive impact, and are grateful to see the number of individuals in Zaatari and Azraq that have benefited from this aid,” Sheikha Lubna said.

Nabil Othman, UNHCR acting regional representative to the GCC countries, acknowledged the Government’s support. “This unstinting gesture allowed UNHCR to reach those populations most in need and is a true reflection of the UAE’s long-standing commitment to alleviating the suffering of vulnerable persons and, of course, the strategic partnership with UNHCR.”

The aid effort complement a number of additional government and civil society initiatives aimed at assisting the refugees.

Those efforts include more than Dh2m donated by the Dar Al Ber Society to assist the refugees cope with harsh conditions over the winter, more than Dh3.5m in a single donation from Dubai’s International Humanitarian City to the UN World Food Programme, and continuing efforts from Emirates Red Crescent.

Despite the efforts, a number of international aid groups, including Oxfam and the Norwegian Refugee Council, described the UN’s response to the Syria crisis as insufficient earlier this month.

According to reports, more than 220,000 people have been killed and one million wounded in the nation’s civil war.

Nearly four million have fled the country, registering as refugees in bordering nations.

The UN estimates more than 12 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: March 19, 2015 04:00 AM

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