20 November 2007 Aiming to improve medical services and facilities for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, the United Nations refugee agency today pledged $11 million to help the country care for them.
Under a funding agreement signed in Amman today, the money will help the Ministry of Health enhance public medical services and primary health centres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a news release.
“For a long time there was not enough attention given to the burden on Jordan and we continue to try to help in alleviating this burden,” UNHCR Representative in Jordan Imran Riza said after signing the agreement.
“In the health sector this will mean increased capacity and improved services to help Jordan and our Iraqi brethren,” said Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Suhair Al-Ali, who signed the accord on behalf of the Jordanian Government.
The grant comes as part of UNHCR's commitment to help neighbouring countries, especially Jordan and Syria, cope with an influx of more than 2.2 million Iraqis, who have fled the conflict in their country. The agency's assistance in these countries is focusing on education, health, food, social and legal counselling, and shelter.
The health grant follows an earlier agreement under which UNHCR agreed to provide some $10 million to strengthen the capacity of Jordan's public schools. Tens of thousands of Iraqis were allowed to enroll in public schools at the start of the academic year last September.