US Ambassador, UNRWA commissioner visit Baqaa camp

A shop owner in the Baqaa refugee camp outside of Amman, Jordan, on July 4, 2007. Many Palestinians want Jordan to assume control of the West Bank. (Tamara Amdul Hadi/The New York Times)
AMMAN — US Ambassador to Jordan Henry T. Wooster and the Commissioner-General of UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini on Monday visited UNRWA’s Baqaa Health Centre, north of Amman.اضافة اعلان

The visit, comes on the heel of the US announcement last week of the resumption of support to UNRWA, a statement from UNRWA said.

President Joe Biden’s administration said last week that it will provide $235 million to the Palestinians and restart funding for the UNRWA, which assists 5.7 million registered Palestinian refugees, Reuters reported.

It was the clearest sign yet of Biden’s apparent intent to repair ties with the Palestinians, who boycotted the Trump White House for most of his tenure, accusing him of pro-Israel bias, according to Reuters.

“The US government is proud to once again support the Palestinian refugee community in Jordan — and health centers like this one — through UNRWA, and in close partnership with the government of Jordan,” Wooster said during the visit.

The US assistance to UNRWA includes $150 million for the operations of the Palestinian refugee agency in the region, including in Jordan, Wooster announced.  

This funding would provide healthcare and medicines, COVID-19 prevention, emergency relief, and access to education, according to the ambassador. 

During the visit, Ambassador Wooster was briefed on the progress of the government-led COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the Baqaa Health Centre, one of the COVID-19 vaccination hubs designated by the Ministry of Health as part of the country’s policy on providing equitable vaccines to all, according to the statement. 

“UNRWA has adjusted the delivery of its primary health services during the pandemic to ensure continued access to all Palestine refugees while supporting national efforts in preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Jordan,” the refugee agency’s statement said.

“The Agency has provided uninterrupted services throughout the pandemic, including door to door delivery of medications to chronic patients and virtual health services,” the statement added.

“I welcome the resumption of US support to UNRWA and welcome the renewed engagement of a longtime partner,” said Lazzarini. 

“The adaptability and responsiveness of the UNRWA medical teams throughout the pandemic and their increased reliance on modern technology, including mobile health applications, are key to the contributions of UNRWA to the field of public health in Jordan,” Lazzarini added during the visit.

UNRWA’s statement stressed that the resumption of US assistance will greatly help its field office in the Kingdom to continue its services to more than 2.4 million Palestine refugees eligible for UNRWA aid