UNDP and the UK boost Cooperation in Supporting of the Health Care Center in Bekaa Area
“Despite the poverty we are living in, the center has helped me and my kids a lot especially that getting medical care in Lebanon is too expensive.” Said Soua’d Al Shridi, a 32 year-old Syrian beneficiary and a mother of nine kids. Another Lebanese mother who refused to give us personal information said: “I have diabetes and decompression, and I come here every 10 days to check my health situation, the health center has helped me a lot and the doctors’ treatment here is excellent.”The Health Care Center was built in 2001 and is being developed and supported as a result of the collaboration between the UNDP and the UK government. The main aim of the center is to guarantee an acceptable health treatment for Syrian refugees, Lebanese, and Palestinian inhabitants.
- The health Care center in the municipality of Bar Elias offers all kinds of services from the General Medicine, to the Pediatric, General Surgery, Orthopedic, Cardiology, Dermatology, Urology, Neurology, Otolaryngology, Endocrinology, Dentist, physiotherapy, ophthalmic surgery.
- It helps around 40000 to 45000 Lebanese, 50000 to 70000 Syrian and 5000 Palestinians.
Bar Elias town is located in the Zahle district, Bekaa Governorate, and in addition to a population of 60,000 inhabitants, Bar Elias has been receiving Syrian people since the beginning of the Crisis. The municipality of Bar Elias is only one of the 62 municipalities of the most vulnerable host communities in the North, Bekaa, South, and Mount Lebanon covered by the Department OF International Development (DFID). The UK through its DFID has contributed about £129 million to the Syrian refugees and to the Lebanese families that were lacking the usual necessities and comforts of life.
The health center in the municipality of Bar Elias offers all kinds of services from the General Medicine, to the Pediatric, General Surgery, Orthopedic, Cardiology, Dermatology, Urology, Neurology, Otolaryngology, Endocrinology, Dentist, physiotherapy, ophthalmic surgery. It helps around 40000 to 45000 Lebanese, 50000 to 70000 Syrian and 5000 Palestinians.
In the center, doctors as well as patients told us that the center is fully-equipped and has all the needed sterilization tools in addition to sufficient rooms and beds. Even though more than 100 patients might come in during one day, the center is managing to organize patients and treat them equally.
In a visit to the health center, the British ambassador, Tom Fletcher, talked about the generosity of the Lebanese people in Bar Elias and announced a new contribution of £5 million to the UNDP host communities program. This donation comes on top of more than 200$ million the U.K. has already given to fund a United Nations Development Program project that addresses the need for increased delivery of basic public services in the country’s poorest areas affected by the Syrian refugee influx which has reached nearly 1 million refugees.The programme will focus on the most affected communities, including Bar Elias, which is now hosting over 70,000 Syrian refugees. The programme will work with the local government and civil society to provide medical equipment and supplies for healthcare centers, equipment for water purification, infrastructure for waste management and other supplies needed to cope with the increasing demands that come with such a large influx of refugees“The united nation system in Lebanon is here for Lebanon in supporting those unfortunate people from Syria who have had to leave there homes and to seek refuge here.” Ross Mountain, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordination and UNDP Resident Representative in Lebanon, said in his speech, and added: “we welcome this very important contribution of the British government to building support in this municipality and other.”
The collaboration between the British state and UNDP has benefited Syrians refugees, Palestinian inhabitants, and Lebanese families. It has also succeeded in softening the relationship between Syrians and Lebanese, and most importantly it was able to draw a smile on poor people’s faces after all the suffering they went through. A last sentence from the 6 year-old Zeinab was: “Thank God mom was able to check the baby in her belly, because I knew she could not handle anymore shocks after what she has been through.”