Syrian Arab Republic | News | Japan boosts assistance for vital health care in Syria

Japan boosts assistance for vital health care in Syria

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Children at Damascus hospitalChildren from East Ghouta at Damascus Paediatric Hospital in March 2018. With support from Japan, the Emergency Department will soon be fully repaired and equipped. © WHO SyriaDamascus, 5 April 2018 – The Government of Japan has committed a total of US$ 5 million in new assistance to the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen primary health care for vulnerable populations in northern Syria, and to improve secondary and tertiary care for children from across the country, including those who come from East Ghouta.

US$ 3.5 million of this package will be used to equip and rehabilitate the Emergency Department of the Damascus Paediatric Hospital, a key health institution providing vital support to critically ill children. Essential medical equipment will also be provided to the Aleppo Paediatric Hospital and the Paediatric and Obstetrics Hospital in Latakia.

The hospital has 470 beds and receives more than 1500 patients every month. In 2017, more than 90% of consultations were for children from outside Damascus governorate, including conflict-affected regions in northern Syria and Rural Damascus.

The Government of Japan has also committed US$ 1.5 million of this new assistance to strengthen essential primary health care services for exceptionally vulnerable populations in northern Syria. With oversight from WHO’s hub in Gaziantep, Turkey, the funding will strengthen a network of 10 model primary heath care centres in Idlib. It will also cover the operational costs of five mobile clinics providing primary health care and two mobile clinics providing mental health services to displaced and underserved families in hard-to-reach areas. Finally, the funding will help provide life-saving medicines and medical supplies in Aleppo and Idlib.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous donation from Japan,” said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria. “This support comes at a critical time, and will improve health services for some of the most vulnerable children and families in Syria.”

HE Mr Futoshi Matsumoto, Special Coordinator for Syria and Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Syria said: “We stand by the weakest. Japan remains in solidarity with those who suffer most – women, children and those who feel pain in their hearts and bodies. We try our best to support those who help themselves. We are together with all Syrians.”

These new donations bring the total amount of Japanese support for WHO’s work in Syria and for Syrian refugees in neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan to more than US$ 23 million since 2016.

A woman with her baby being treated by a doctor in a mobile clinicAn infant is examined by a doctor from WHO partner Syria Relief and Development Organization at the Maaret Alnoman Collective Center in Idlib governorate. © SRD.Japanese support is also helping WHO to expand access to trauma care and essential health services in the most vulnerable areas of Syria, and to rehabilitate two primary health care centres in East Aleppo. Funds from Japan supported the purchase of ambulances and mobile health clinics, which are currently providing urgent health support to children, women, and men who were recently displaced from Afrin.

WHO strives to improve the health of vulnerable children, women, and men in Syria and in neighbouring countries. In 2018, more than 16 million Syrians and Syrian refugees are in need of humanitarian health support.

For more information, contact:

Inas Hamam
Communications Officer
WHO Regional Office Eastern Mediterranean
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+20 100 015 7385

Cory Couillard
Communications Officer
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+90 531 305 7607

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s)

24 422

Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure)


Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births)


Primary health care centres and units (per 10 000 population)


Total life expectancy at birth (years)


Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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