Italy contributes EUR 2 million to support the most vulnerable Palestine Refugees in Lebanon

23 May 2023
Ambassador of Italy to Lebanon, Nicoletta Bombardiere, and the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Dr. Dorothee Klaus, sign a one-year agreement for an additional contribution of EUR 2 million to Palestine Refugees in Lebanon. © 2023 UNRWA Photo

Beirut, 22 May 2023 - Today, the Ambassador of Italy to Lebanon, Nicoletta Bombardiere, and the Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Affairs in Lebanon, Dr. Dorothee Klaus, signed a one-year agreement for an additional contribution of EUR 2 million to support the most vulnerable Palestine Refugees in Lebanon, in particular persons with disabilities, whose dire situation and difficult access to services was further compounded by the socio-economic crisis hitting Lebanon since 2019.

This additional vital funding will enable UNRWA to continue the provision of inclusive education services to Palestine Refugee children, in particular children with disabilities. It will also strengthen the holistic UNRWA approach on disability inclusion through the provision of cash assistance and enhanced access to mobility and assistive devices.  

Dr. Klaus said: “UNRWA welcomes all students within its own schools and acknowledges their diversity in ways of learning. It is committed to removing obstacles to the effective inclusion of students with disabilities. With this grant from the Italian government, UNRWA will be able to better identify children with disabilities and provide them and our teachers with the necessary support to create an inclusive learning and teaching environment.”

Ambassador Bombardiere said: “Italy’s support to Lebanon has been constantly focusing on strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable, in particular children and persons with disabilities. With this new contribution, Italy reaffirms its support to UNRWA’s work in providing crucial services for Palestine Refugees at risk, such as access to inclusive education, child protection and multipurpose cash assistance.”

The Director of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), Ms. Alessandra Piermattei, said: “We are glad to strengthen and renew the partnership between the Italian Cooperation and UNRWA with the objective to support the most vulnerable Palestine Refugees in Lebanon with adequate means and environment to learn, develop and become an active part of a more equitable society.”

Italy has long been one of the Agency’s most reliable donors. In 2022, Italy’s overall contribution to UNRWA amounted to EUR 14 million, including EUR 7 million for the Agency’s core programmes and services. Italy’s continuous support is of critical importance in view of the particularly dramatic conditions in which the Palestine Refugees in Lebanon are living.

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Notes to Editors 

  • UNRWA is the only UN agency that operates a fully-fledged school system of over 700 schools. These schools currently provide education to over half a million children.
  • In 2022, UNRWA health centres provided 7.9 million health consultations across the Agency’s five fields of operation.
  • Find the Agency's Disability Policy here
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