The European Union Contributes EUR 5 million in support of UNRWA Operations in Lebanon

27 March 2023


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced a EUR 5 million contribution from the European Union (EU) in support of Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

This grant will enable UNRWA to increase livelihood opportunities for vulnerable Palestine refugee youth. 

Over the coming three years, this funding will create more than 3,000 jobs through employability service support and short-term employment opportunities. As Lebanon’s crises deepen, living conditions for the most vulnerable groups continue to deteriorate. With employment opportunities scarce, Palestine refugees are increasingly insecure and reliant on UNRWA services and assistance.

Recognizing this, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon Dorothée Klaus, expressed her deep appreciation to the EU for their continued, generous support. She said: “We are grateful for this new contribution which reaffirms the commitment of the EU to UNRWA and Palestine Refugees. These funds come at a critical time to support Palestine refugee youth through livelihood opportunities and skills-based training.”

“Unemployment is one of the most critical challenges Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. Access to work is very difficult for them.  This project builds on the region's longstanding partnership between EU and UNWRA and aims to provide much needed employment and livelihood generation opportunities to young Palestinian refugees,” said Alessandra Viezzer, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Lebanon.


Background Information: 

EU and UNRWA: Together for Palestine Refugees

The EU has established itself as a key financial and operational partner of UNRWA in Lebanon, contributing more than EUR 13 million over the past decade to improve the quality of UNRWA educational and supportive services, and enhance the employment prospects of Palestine refugee youth in Lebanon.   

The EU and UNRWA have a strategic partnership governed by the shared objective to support the human development, humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and promote stability in the Middle East. As one of the largest providers of international assistance to Palestinian refugees, EU funding has enabled UNRWA to provide daily quality education for close to half a million children and deliver primary health care to more than 3.5 million patients in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. Consequentially, millions of Palestine refugees are better educated, live healthier lives, access employment opportunities and improve their living conditions, contributing to the development of the entire region.


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:

Huda Samra
Communications Advisor – Lebanon (Arabic and Francophone)
+961 81 666 134
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson/ Director of External Relations & Communications
+962 (0)79 090 0140