UAE funds third of healthcare in Syrian refugee camps

In 2014, the UAE’s government made a contribution of $5m to UNHCR for the provision of health assistance in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan

Through contributions to the United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, the UAE covered more than 30 per cent of the cost of all health needs at two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan between January and September 2014, the UNHCR said in a statement today.

In 2014, the UAE’s government made a contribution of $5m to UNHCR for the provision of health assistance in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, the statement said.

The amount has been divided with $2m allocated to health activities and $3m for water, sanitation and health. With the funds, UNHCR was able to reach almost 94,000 Syrian refugees through two field hospitals with 55 beds, nine primary healthcare centres, and one delivery unit in Zaatari camp. In Azraq refugee camp, the UAE’s donation is supporting a 24-hour clinic, in addition to one health post.

Since 2012, the UAE’s federal government has provided approximately $109.4m in financial humanitarian aid to Syria, in addition to non-financial assistance for education and health initiatives, according to the UNHCR.

Its donation has helped UNHCR give around 80,000 Syrian refugees in Zaatari camp access to healthcare services; enabled the possibility for 127,781 primary health care consultations; facilitated mental health treatment for 704 refugees; and allowed for the provision of 52,755 reproductive health consultations, it said.

In Azraq camp, the funds allowed 13,604 Syrian refugees access to health services, enabled 25,650 primary health care consultations, and helped 134 Syrians with mental health issues seek medical assistance, it added.

With the increasing number of Syrian and other refugees in Jordan, the need for healthcare is only set to increase, making donor support crucial, UNHCR said. Jordan has become home to more than 618,000 Syrian refugees.

“With a worsening humanitarian crisis inside Syria and an unremitting influx of refugees seeking safety in the neighboring countries, the sustainable provision of health and other essential services remains a major challenge, and this can only be addressed through continuous cooperation and support from our donors,” said Nabil Othman, UNHCR’s acting regional representative to the GCC countries.