In a humanitarian effort to support secondary health care for vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Italy has signed an agreement with UNHCR, contributing EUR 1.7 million (USD 1.9 million) to the UN Refugee Agency-Health Care programme.
This contribution was interpreted through an agreement that was signed by Italian Ambassador to Lebanon Massimo Marotti and UNHCR’s Representative in Lebanon Mireille Girard in a ceremony held at the Italian Embassy in Lebanon.
The ceremony was attended by many personalities, including the Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Beirut, Donatella Procesi.
During the ceremony, Mireille Girard expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the contribution by saying: "We welcome very much this generous Italian contribution to the UNHCR's health care program, while there is a critical funding gap in Lebanon to meet the basic needs of refugee care, who are now more at risk than any time else."
From his side, Ambassador Marotti stressed on the importance of UNHCR's services in Lebanon, acknowledging the efforts of the Lebanese government to host vulnerable refugees.
Assuring that Italy will continue to support its endeavors, Marotti added, "Italy confirms its commitment to sustain the commendable actions undertaken by UNHCR, and the vision that places the vulnerable people at the center of its aid policy."
Speaking about its aims in 2019, UNHCR issued a statement saying that its organization supports "access to lifesaving hospital care for some 73,000 refugees, over 3,000 of whom will be funded thanks to Italy's vital support."
It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time that Italy supports the UNHCR in Lebanon. Since the beginning of that ongoing crisis in 2012, Italy has been providing crucial support to Syrian refugees in Lebanon through the UNHCR's operations with, so far, over $13 million in aid.
The UNHCR, which stands for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is "a global organization dedicated to saving lives and protecting the rights of refugees, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people."
The UNHCR was established in 1950, after World War II, in order to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes.