ITF helps establish rehab centre for war victims in Bethlehem

Betlehem, 8 October - A rehabilitation centre for victims of armed conflicts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in Palestine was opened in Bethlehem on Monday with assistance from the Slovenian-run ITF Enhancing Human Security organisation.

The centre, whose establishment has been managed by the fund mostly dealing with demining and assistance to victims of land mines, will provide rehabilitation to victims of armed conflicts in Palestine in a familiar environment.

Announcing the opening on Tuesday, the ITF said that the ceremony had been attended by high-profile guests, including Health Minister Mai Salem Hana Kaileh and other representatives of the Palestinian National Authority.

Slovenia was represented by Health Ministry State Secretary Simona Repar Bornšek and ITF director Tomaž Lovrenčič, the fund added in the press release.

The public rehabilitation centre is located in the main hospital in Bethlehem, providing locals with access to rehabilitation and reducing the need to refer them to institutions abroad.

The main donor for the centre, which features five fully-equipped rooms, is the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), which has chipped in half a million euro for the equipment and material.

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry contributed EUR 35,000 as part of a project for psychosocial assistance to victims of conflicts and comprehensive rehabilitation in Gaza from the national funds for international development cooperation for 2017-2019.

The funds are intended for training of Palestinian experts in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Soča institute in Ljubljana, who will be working in the Bethlehem hospital. Funds for the training were also contributed by South Korea.

Slovenia has so far contributed more than EUR 850,000 for related activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while the ITF has collected around EUR 2.4 million with help from donors (South Korea, OFID, Qatar, Monaco, Sweden), the ITF added.

© STA, 2019