Denmark Renews Support to UNRWA for Palestine Refugees for the next five years

07 June 2023
UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini and Ambassador (Head of Mission) Ketil Karlsen from the Representative Office of Denmark in Ramallah sign a new Multi-Year Agreement (MYA) for the 2023-2027 period. © 2023 UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Sharif


Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and Denmark signed a new Multi-Year Agreement (MYA) for the 2023-2027 period, with a contribution of DKK 105 million (US$ 15.2 million) each year, for a total of DKK 525 million (US$ 75.2 million). The agreement builds upon the strong and multifaceted cooperation between UNRWA and Denmark and follows the previous 2017-2021 MYA, extended through 2022. This new MYA reaffirms Denmark’s financial assistance to UNRWA and the country’s ongoing support for Palestine Refugees.

Ambassador (Head of Mission) Ketil Karlsen from the Representative Office of Denmark in Ramallah said, “We are happy to enter into this multi-year-agreement and provide predictable and flexible funding to UNRWA. In 2020, we increased our funding to UNRWA by 50 per cent and we will continue to provide assistance at this level as we go forward. Denmark sees UNRWA as an important stabilizing force in a region that is going through precarious times. In terms of substance, Denmark and UNRWA will, in particular, focus on youth and how we can help adolescents, as well as young girls and boys, to get skills enabling them to enter the labour market.”

The Danish contribution will support core UNRWA services for Palestine Refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. UNRWA services include primary health care, quality, inclusive education, social protection services, infrastructure and camp improvement and protection.

“On behalf of UNRWA, I express my gratitude to the Government of Denmark for providing UNRWA with generous multi-year funding and, in particular, for disbursing their entire 2023 contribution upon the signing of this agreement, helping the Agency meet its funding needs this month. This is exceptionally important for the Agency’s ability to continue to serve Palestine Refugees, especially in the context of our chronic cycles of underfunding. The agreement sets also a new level of good donorship by giving the Agency predictable funding for the next five years to run its services – including education and health – across the region,”said UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini.

In addition to Denmark’s ongoing financial support, UNRWA and Denmark are currently developing a Danish-funded research paper assessing in-demand employment sectors across the five fields of UNRWA operations and barriers to Palestine Refugee youth entry into the labour market. This is an excellent example of Denmark’s commitment for the well-being and empowerment of Palestine Refugees.



Notes to Editors


  • Denmark is a valued and well-established partner of UNRWA, having started its donations in 1951. In 2022, it contributed DKK 105 million to strengthen the delivery of the Agency’s crucial services to millions of Palestine Refugees across the Middle East.
  • Some 8,000 Palestine Refugee youth are enrolled in eight UNRWA Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) Centres across our five fields of operation. TVET graduates are hired at a near 80 per cent rate.
  • The Danish-funded research paper is tentatively scheduled to be available during the fourth quarter of 2023.
Background Information: 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.


For more information, please contact:

Juliette Touma
UNRWA Director of Communications
+962-79-867-4628 (on whatsapp)
Secondary mobile: 
+972 54240-2753
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson/ Director of External Relations & Communications
+962 (0)79 090 0140