Minister of State of Ireland Visits Amman New Camp in support of Palestine Refugees

15 March 2023
The Irish Minister of State, His Excellency Mr James Browne (centre), meets with young Palestine refugees at the UNRWA Amman New Camp school in Amman, Jordan, during his visit there on 14 March 2023. © 2023 UNRWA Photo


The Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice in Ireland, His Excellency Mr. James Browne, visited Amman New Camp, Jordan with United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) officials. A delegation accompanied State Minister Browne, including Ireland’s Ambassador to Jordan, Mrs. Marianne Bolger, and UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Leni Stenseth.

During the visit of the camp, the delegation was briefed on the Agency’s essential education, relief, health and protection service provision to Palestine refugees across Jordan and the impact of Ireland’s support to UNRWA. This was followed by a meeting with Palestine refugee students participating in the Jordan Young Scientist Programme (JoYS) who presented their project.

Minister Browne said: “I am very happy to visit the Amman New Camp’s School today together with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Ireland and Jordan are close partners in enabling UNRWA to fulfill its mandate towards Palestine refugees. In 2022, Ireland contributed EUR 8 million to support the work of UNRWA. I was especially happy to have talked to JoYS students about their project, achievements, and their experience with the Jordan Young Scientist programme. I wish them all the best with the exhibition in June.”

The Jordan Young Scientist programme was created to motivate and reward youth who study science, mathematics, engineering, and technology abilities. JoYS was established in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland, Jordanian Ministry of Education, Crown Prince Foundation, and Queen Rania Foundation.

“JoYS helped us become motivated and enriched our experiences and creativity when we interacted with other students participating in this initiative,” Nadia, a 9th grade Palestine refugee student, said with excitement. She and her two classmates, with the help of their teacher, were able to design and create an irrigation system for their school’s plants.

Ambassador Marianne Bolger added: “Ireland is a committed supporter of the Palestinian people, as reflected by the priority we devote to our collaboration with UNRWA. It was a privilege to visit their programmes in Amman New Camp today and see how UNRWA is helping Palestine refugees. I am pleased that we cooperated with UNRWA to expand the young scientists’ programme to include Palestine refugees from their schools. Fostering inclusion is a key goal for JoYS and we have received applications from all over Jordan and across all schools’ sectors in 2023.”

UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Stenseth highlighted: “Ireland’s frequent support to UNRWA is a testament of its confidence. We provide quality education to Palestine refugee children and youth, in addition to other areas of our work, especially health and social relief. Thank you for the confidence and energy and your commitment to Palestine refugees.”




Notes to Editors

  • Amman New Camp, known locally as “Wihdat”, was one of four camps set up after 1948 to accommodate Palestine refugees. The camp was established in 1955 on an area of 0.48 square kilometres, southeast of Amman.
  • UNRWA currently educates over 113,000 students in 161 schools in Jordan.
  • The UNRWA delegation included the Director of External Relations and Communications, Tamara Alrifai, the Acting Deputy Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan, Mr. Butros Janho, and representatives from the Department of Palestinian Affairs.
  • Since 2017, Ireland has contributed more than US$ 52 million to UNRWA in service of Palestine refugees and has been a long-standing supporter to UNRWA and Palestine refugees since 1959.
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
+962 (0)79 090 0140
Juliette Touma
UNRWA Director of Communications
+972 54240 2753