Finland Renews Support to UNRWA for Palestine Refugees with EUR 20 Million contribution over four years

29 March 2023
Ambassador Päivi Peltokoski, of the Representative Office of Finland in the occupied Palestinian territory, and Karim Amer, UNRWA Director of Partnerships, sign a new multi-year agreement valued at EUR 20 million in support of Palestine Refugees. © 2023 UNRWA Photo by Mohammad Sharif

East Jerusalem

Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and Finland signed a new Multi-Year Agreement (MYA) for the 2023-2026 period, with a total contributed amount of EUR 20 million. The agreement builds upon the long-term, close and successful cooperation between UNRWA and Finland and follows the previous 2019-2022 MYA, which provided EUR 5 million per year to the Agency’s Programme Budget. The new MYA reconfirms Finland’s financial support to the Agency and the country’s support to Palestine refugees.

“Finland highly values the indispensable work of UNRWA with Palestine refugees, including in providing basic services for example in education and health care. Finland is a long-standing and stable supporter of UNRWA. More than ever, UNRWA needs adequate funds, political support and sustainability to fulfill its core mandate,” said Ambassador Päivi Peltokoski from the Representative Office of Finland in Ramallah.

Since the beginning of the year, UNRWA has hosted a number of high-level meetings with Finnish representatives including Ms. Titta Maja-Luoto, Director-General at the Department for Development Policy of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, former President Tarja Halonen, and State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Johanna Sumuvuori. This is a testament of Finland’s support to UNRWA and the well-being of Palestine refugees.

“On behalf of the Agency, I would like to express my gratitude to the government of Finland for its commitment in supporting UNRWA with unearmarked and predictable funding disbursed early in the year. This trust is tremendously important for the Agency and its stability, especially considering the difficult current financial situation,” said UNRWA Director of Partnerships, Karim Amer.

Finland is a well-established partner of UNRWA. In 2022, Finland contributed an additional EUR 2 million to its EUR 5 million yearly contribution. These critical contributions supports the Agency’s continuous provision of core services – including running 140 health-care facilities that allowed for more than 7 million patient visits and 706 schools for over half a million students across its five fields of operation.[1]


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[1] * The statistics on UNRWA response are as of 1 January 2022.

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:

Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson/ Director of External Relations & Communications
+962 (0)79 090 0140