Amman, February 23, 2017 – “Tell me what is your greatest difficulty?” asked the Minister of Development and La Francophonie Cooperation, Marie-Claude Bibeau to a group of Syrian refugee women at a UNFPA-supported clinic in Sweileh, north of Amman today. Rachel Harder, member of the Parliament of Canada and Peter MacDougall, Canada’s ambassador to Jordan accompanied Minister Bibeau in her visit to the Sweileh Community Health Centre (CHC). The CHC is managed by one of UNFPA’s strongest partners, the Institute of Family Health (IFH), an affiliate of the King Hussein Foundation, the country’s leading philanthropic institution. It provides comprehensive reproductive health care to host and Syrian communities, amongst other refugee populations, in the greater Amman area.
The Minister toured center's departments, including the family planning clinic and counseling rooms. She attended a family planning awareness group session, where she engaged in a lively conversation with Syrian women refugees on the support they receive from center.
The Government of Canada finances core programs in the Sweileh center and other similar facilities across Jordan through a grant of five million Canadian dollars paid over a period of three years to UNFPA. With this support, IFH was able to pioneer a comprehensive reproductive health care clinic in Jordan which enabled it to improve women, girls and family health through a holistic approach, including with psychosocial counseling, management of sexual and gender-based violence and health awareness, as well as family planning and antenatal services.
As the tour drew to a close, one of the clients in the session quietly answered Minister Bibeau’s initial question:
“When I first moved to Jordan from Syria, I lived in refugee camp then moved to a tiny house on a roof. I had lost everything, and decided one day to throw myself off the very roof that was now my home,’ said a refugee at the center. “Fate brought the IFH social worker to me that day. She helped me through that terrible time. Now, I come every week to the support group and have made friends. The center gave me back my life and hope.”
UNFPA…delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled