RIYADH, 19th September, 2018 (WAM) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, and King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, KSRelief, signed two agreements today worth over SR8.4 million (nearly US$2.24 million) to provide dialysis treatment for Syrian refugees suffering from chronic renal failure. The life-saving treatment is expected to support 128 Syrian refugees in and Lebanon and Jordan for one year.
The agreements was co-signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Advisor to the Saudi Royal Court and General Supervisor of KSRelief; and Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Regional Representative to the GCC Countries, during a high-level visit to Zaatari camp, Jordan.
The contribution, which is the first of its kind between UNHCR and KSRelief in Lebanon and Jordan, specifically within the health sector, aims to provide dialysis treatment for 99 Syrian refugee patients in Lebanon, and 29 patients in Jordan.
Commenting on the difficulties faced by refugee patients, Dr. Al Rabeeah said, "As we know, dialysis patients constantly suffer from psychological and logistical obstacles, and are in continuous need for health support. KSRelief launches this programme in collaboration with UNHCR out of its concern in supporting the largest number of the most vulnerable refugees in need of dialysis treatment, and to emphasise on specialised life-saving programmes dedicated to health care of refugees."
The funding shortage in the health sector has reached 61 percent according to the most recent update issued in June 2018 in the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan for the Syria crisis, known as the 3RP. The cost of health care is a major financial burden on the countries hosting Syrian refugees, which are already suffering from difficult economic conditions. In addition, the lack of resources has resulted in the growing poverty among refugees, where more than 80 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan live below the poverty line (less than US$3.84 per day).
"UNHCR’s partnership with KSRelief focuses on alleviating the plight of refugees, particularly those who are most vulnerable. This agreement is a reflection of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to humanitarianism as it will save the lives of hundreds of refugees who suffer from renal failure and will protect refugee families from having to make tough decisions with regards to their limited resources given the high cost of treatment," said Khalifa.
UNHCR recently called for some US$36 million in order to meet the health needs of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly in Lebanon and Jordan. With the singing of these two agreements, the cumulative contributions of KSRelief to UNHCR has reached SR176 million (nearly US$47 million) since KSRelief’s establishment in 2015.
WAM/Rola Alghoul/Nour Salman