RAMALLAH, NOVEMBER 15 – The head of External Relations Office of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Emilio Ciarlo, and the Representative of the Agency in Jerusalem, Cristina Natoli, visited together on Tuesday three initiatives funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Palestine .
The day started with a meeting with Dr. Ramlawi, Deputy Minister of Health, and a visit to the National Laboratory of Public Health in Ramallah. Bearing in mind that Italy is the EU lead donor in the field of Health, the parties took the stock of the ongoing projects aimed at strengthening the primary health care system in Palestine through development of infrastructures, provision of medical equipment, staff training and community activities as well as prevention and control of non – communicable diseases.
Mr Emilio Ciarlo and Ms Natoli went then to Bethlehem where they visited the Mehwar Center meeting with Mr Daoud Al Deek, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Development and Ms Saeda Al Atrash , Head of Women and Gender Unit. The process leading to the establishment of a shelter started in 2001 and the Mehwar Center was launched in February 2007 with the technical and financial support of the Italian Cooperation. The Center was built in the framework of a programme aimed at enhancing government policies and actions to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Together with the presentation of Mehwar activities and the issues raised by the survivors and by the personnel on Violence Against Women , the parties extensively discussed the main challenges and opportunities encountered in Palestine by women.