ITF and Slovenia`s Development Cooperation
The Government of the Republic of Slovenia is among major ITF donors. With regular yearly donations for ITF projects it has contributed more than 13.5 million USD out of which over 4.2 million EUR was contributed through the Department for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance. For the period 2017/2018 an additional amount of 740,000 EUR is allocated for the following projects:
- Enhancing Psychosocial Wellbeing of Children from Ukraine (more information)
- Medical Rehabilitation of a Victim of Armed Conflict in Ukraine (more information)
- Support to Mine Detection Centre (MDC) Polyclinic in Kabul, Afghanistan (more information)
- Psychosocial Support of Victims of Conflict and the Support in the Field of Comprehensive Rehabilitation in Gaza Strip (more information)
- Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Risk Education (MRE) for Syrian Refugees in Jordan (more information)
- Medical Rehabilitation of Children from Belarus (more information)
- Support of ITF Representative Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) (more information)
- Integrated Program of Telemedicine and E-Health in Cabo Verde (more information)
The so-called Ukrainian crisis having salient international implications erupted in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. In spite of the Minsk agreements and attempts to provide a peaceful resolution to the conflict, hostilities continue to pose an immediate threat to human security. Additionally the traumatic events to which thousands of children and adults were exposed to are causing severe psychological distress. This negatively impacts the mental health and psychosocial well-being of especially the most vulnerable group – children.
In order to address the needs of children affected and traumatized by the conflict in Ukraine, ITF is implementing a project for enhancement of psychosocial well-being of children. Since 2014, 240 conflict affected children facing trauma and other psychosomatic disorders have already been included in intensive psychosocial rehabilitation programme at Debeli rtič, Slovenia, and another 160 will be able to receive the necessary support by the end of 2018.
The so-called Ukrainian crisis having salient international implications erupted in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. In spite of the Minsk agreements and attempts to provide a peaceful resolution to the conflict, hostilities continue to pose an immediate threat to human security. Although we have in the last few months seen a significant reduction of hostilities in certain parts of eastern Ukraine, the political and security situation still remains uncertain.
At least 9,758 people have so far lost their lives and 22,779 people have been wounded (out of which at least 182 children) in east of Ukraine according to the UN report, while actual numbers are likely to be higher due to severe unexploded ordnance contamination. Humanitarian situation is dire with many people struggling to satisfy the basic needs and with government struggling to provide medical assistance. Consequently, ITF has addressed the issue of injured children, by providing physical rehabilitation to a girl, who lost her left leg in 2015 during the conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine. Until today, the girl has already undergone two phases of medical rehabilitation, when she also received a below-knee prosthesis. However, due to her continuous growth, the rehabilitation requires a sustainable and comprehensive approach in order to enhance her general health and well-being as well as help with the long-term reintegration process. The project which will continue in years 2017-2018 is co-financed by the Republic of Ireland and private donors.
In the shadow of never-finished wars, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. 50% of the population lives 1 hour on foot away of the closest medical facility and 37% of the population lives 2 hours away. Based on statistical data, 74% of medical services are payable. Health issues are often associated with fertility, with an extremely high birth mortality rate. In addition, transmitted diseases account for a half of deaths in Afghanistan.
The project of supporting the MDC Polyclinic in Kabul is co-financed by United States of America and enables free healthcare support to the deminers and their family members as well as the population of Kabul, in particular physiotherapeutic, psychosocial, gynaecological, and dental services as well as examinations and consultations. Additionally, radiological, laboratory and pharmaceutical services will be ensured. The project specifically focuses on the services aimed at women and children, who cannot afford healthcare.
ITF started with its engagement in Gaza Strip and the West Bank in 2009. In cooperation with the University Rehabilitation Institute of the Republic of Slovenia – Soča (URI – Soča), ITF has since been developing and implementing projects that include physical and mental rehabilitation and local/national capacity building in the field of rehabilitation. Between 2009 and 2015, 109 children from Gaza (eleven groups) were rehabilitated at URI – Soča, over 300 children were medically triaged in Gaza by a joint URI/ITF team and 20 local physiotherapists underwent training at URI – Soča.
The current project, co-financed by the Republic of Korea and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), is firstly aimed at providing psychosocial support to the children, victims of armed conflict in Gaza Strip. Secondly, it focuses on contributing to the faster and more effective reintegration of victims into the society as well as improving the expertise on comprehensive rehabilitation. Lastly, it targets the improvement of skills of physical medicine and rehabilitation experts.
As a consequence of the armed conflict in Syria in 2011, almost 11.5 million Syrians were forced to leave their homes. The immediate effect of the armed conflict is the extensive contamination of areas with landmines, ERW and other unexploded ordnance that prevent and hinder the return of refugees to their home environment. Jordan is hosting approximately 657,000 registered Syrian refugees and is second to Lebanon a country with the largest number of refugees per capita in the world.
The aim of the project is to raise risk awareness and safety among Syrian refugees in Jordan as well as to minimize the number of possible mine/ERW victims upon returning to their homeland. The program focuses on the implementation of MRE workshops for approximately 12,000 Syrian refugees in primary and secondary schools in the Irbid province as well as for approximately 8,000 Syrian refugees in the Zaatari refugee camp, Mafraq province.
Reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl is the scene of the worst nuclear accident in history. The radioactive particles from the explosion in 1986 still affect the lives of people. Medical estimates suggest up to 4,000 people will die prematurely due to radiation exposure, and thousands more still suffer health effects, primarily in today’s Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
In 2015 and 2016, 59 children between the ages of 7 and 14, affected by the nuclear accident in Chernobyl in 1986, received comprehensive medical rehabilitation in Slovenia. In the next two years, additional 60 children will be included in the medical rehabilitation program containing inter alia respiratory physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and endurance exercises that will improve their health as well as their general well-being.
ITF Representative Office in BiH has been active in-country (BiH) since 1999 by supporting the national mine action strategic goals through implementation of ITF’s mine action humanitarian mission, performing the activities of demining, raising mine/UXO contamination awareness, mine/UXO victims' assistance, rehabilitation and national capacities' support. In addition, ITF's activities also include evaluation, monitoring and communication as well as coordination with the donors/embassies and BiH institutions.
With the support of the Republic of Slovenia, 11 telemedicine centers were built between 2012 and 2014 and in 2016, linking all nine inhabited islands of Cabo Verde. An established and operational national telemedicine and e-health network improves the accessibility and quality of health services, provides regular training for health personnel and reduces healthcare costs. By enabling teleconsulting, it reduces the number of patient evacuations to one of the two tertiary health-care institutions on the archipelago or even abroad (Portugal).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia through ITF plans further engagement in Cabo Verde in the period 2017/2018, first supporting a fact-finding mission conducted by ITF, to review and assess the established Telemedicine Program and identify further needs within the development and enhancement of the healthcare system in the Cabo Verde.