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Austrian President and First Lady Visit UNFPA Sites in Zaatari Refugee Camp

AMMAN, Jordan, 19 April 2018 – President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen and First Lady of Austria Doris Schmidauer today visited sites supported by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in the Zaatari refugee camp.

Since 2017, the Austrian government has supported UNFPA’s humanitarian work in Zaatari camp. “We are grateful for the generous support Austria has provided to the UNFPA initiatives in Zaatari,” said UNFPA Jordan Representative Laila Baker. “The funding has helped us build a model of productive youth engagement and provide vital reproductive health services to disadvantaged women.”

The president and first lady visited a UNFPA-supported reproductive health and maternity clinic run by the Jordan Health Aid Society International (JHASI). The facility provides comprehensive reproductive health services and is the only clinic in the camp to provide safe normal deliveries, with a near perfect record for maternal and child health.

“The clinic is first class. We have a medical doctor with us and she is very impressed, as we all are. Everyone at the clinic is doing a very professional job,” said President Van der Bellen.

The president and first lady also visited a UNFPA-supported women and girls safe space run by the Institute for Family Health (IFH). The space provides comprehensive gender-based violence services, counseling and awareness raising. Their final visit was to the Questscope-UNFPA Youth Centre, where they were able to meet young people who have benefited from the centre’s recreational, educational and psychosocial activities.

“I visited Zaatari camp today, and I must say our entire Austrian delegation is very impressed by what is happening here,” said President Van der Bellen. “From the clinic, to the youth centre to counseling—all of these activities are not only necessary, but they make life easier and more bearable. Congratulations on what you all are accomplishing here.”