Ambassador Wells Visits Irbid for Refugee, Education, Health Discussions and Donations

IRBID – U.S. Ambassador Alice G. Wells visited Irbid today, where she met with governorate officials including Governor Dr. Sa’d Shihab and Irbid Mayor Hussein Bani Hani, to discuss issues of common interest, including education, health, refugee and host community issues.

Ambassador Wells also visited the Caritas Non-Formal Education program at the Patriarchate Latin School of Hoson, where she donated books to the students on behalf of the U.S. government.  She also had the opportunity to visit the Princess Rahma and Princess Bade’a Hospitals and donate medical supplies through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Ambassador Wells held discussions with the Irbid Community Support Committee, where Jordanians and Syrians work together to identify and solve challenges facing their communities. Meeting with staff at the female-owned Pella Pharmaceuticals, Ambassador Wells discussed the opportunities and challenges facing small and medium sized enterprises.

“Irbid is amongst the Jordanian communities most heavily affected by the refugee crisis, and we thank the Jordanian government and people for having the hearts and the willingness to open your arms to so many refugees,” Ambassador Wells said. “We understand that it puts a strain on your society, has an impact on education, health and resources. We all have an obligation to help you meet these needs, and we are trying to live up to that obligation.”

The U.S. government funds Caritas $1.5 million in Jordan to provide informal education to 1,500 Syrian refugees and 450 Jordanian students in ten locations across Jordan. The program is committed to moving children ages 6-14 into a formal and certified educational program. The Caritas Center also provides health care and counseling to refugees and Jordanians.

At the Princess Rahma Educational Hospital for Children, Ambassador Wells emphasized the strong partnership between the U.S. government, the government of Jordan and UNHCR in helping to address the needs of both refugees and Jordanian host communities. Ambassador Wells announced an additional $3.3 million in U.S. government support, through UNHCR, to Ministry of Health hospitals and clinics across the country.

“Your personal efforts have saved and improved the lives of countless of your neighbors who fled to you in their time of need,” the Ambassador said to hospital staff. “And though we are not on the frontline every day as you are, I hope you know that we are by your side.”