NORWAC is a humanitarian organization that works with health-related projects in the Middle East.
NORWAC adheres to the main principles of humanitarianism and medical ethics, in particular the principles of impartiality – that services and assistance needs to be given according to needs, regardless of race and ethnicity, religion and political beliefs, and in line with medical ethics – in the tradition of the “Hippocratic oath”.
The NORWAC Foundation was established January 1st 1994 in close cooperation with the Norwegian solidarity movement with the Palestinians. Before 1994 NORWAC was organized as a member association. Human rights and solidarity with oppressed peoples and reduction of inequality have always been important motivation factors for the Foundation, and constitute the main core values of the organization.
NORWAC has since its inception had the bulk of the programs and interventions focused on the Palestinian issue in Palestine (OPT) and Lebanon. From 1999 to 2015 NORWAC was engaged in working in the Western Balkan, and since 2012 NORWAC has worked with medical aid in Syria.
For all the areas, longstanding and good relationships with local partners, authorities and other contributors is a major strength of the programs. This has facilitated good understanding of society and politics in highly complex environments. The continuous dialogue with all, combined with sound and professional health programs, have fostered acceptance locally, and allowed access to areas other agencies have had difficulties operating in.
The professional health backgrounds of the individual members of the NORWAC Foundation have contributed to the development of sound programs. More importantly however, has been the ability to transfer knowledge concerning Norwegian health systems and policies to the Palestine/Lebanon and the Balkans.
While health is the common denominator for the programmatic interventions, it is not seen by the members as necessarily an end in itself. Health programs have proven to be an effective conduit, or entry point, into society and an effective means of reducing conflict and suffering.