The West Bank: UK Foreign Secretary visits Jalazone Palestine Refugee Camp and announces additional funding to UNRWA

13 September 2023
Right Honourable James Cleverly MP, State Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom, gathers with Palestine Refugee students at the UNRWA Jalazone Girls' School during his recent visit. © 2023 Photo Courtesy of the United Kingdom


Right Honourable James Cleverly MP, State Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom, visited residents of Jalazone refugee camp for Palestine Refugees, near Ramallah, today on his first official visit to the occupied Palestinian territory, and met with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

UNRWA briefed the Foreign Secretary on key protection issues Palestine Refugees face in the camp, other parts of the West Bank and the Agency’s work, including on key services like education and health. The minister met with girls and boys - members of the UNRWA Student Parliament - where students spoke about their role in schools and with local communities.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, “On my visit to Jalazone refugee camp today, I have seen first-hand the impact of UNRWA’s work supporting Palestinian refugees in the West Bank. UK funding is helping to support millions Palestinian refugees across the region with vital health.”

Last month, UNRWA received GBP 10 million (US$ 12.74 million) from the United Kingdom (UK) towards the Agency’s “Programme Budget”, critical to the delivery of basic services and salaries for frontline workers and staff. The UK also confirmed that it will respond to the Agency’s urgent financial challenges with an additional GBP 10 million (US $ 12.74 million), to be made available in the run up to the High-Level week of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said, “I am grateful for the additional funding that the UK is providing, reemphasizing the decades-long close partnership between the UK and UNRWA. The Agency’s services, including the delivery of education to over half a million children, are more critical than ever given the unprecedented challenges Palestine Refugees are facing.”

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Notes to Editors

  • The United Kingdom has been an active and supportive partner of UNRWA. In 2022, the UK provided GBP 18.7 million (US$ 21.2 million), which included GBP 13 million (US$ 14.3 million) to the programme budget and GBP 5.7 million (US$ 6.8 million) to the UNRWA oPt Emergency Appeal for cash for work and food security.
  • Learn more about challenges in West Bank camps through our series #HearTheirVoices. Watch the latest here.
  • UNRWA works to enrich its Education Programme including through the delivery of human rights education. Launched in 1999, the human rights programme aims to promote non-violence, communication skills, peaceful conflict-resolution, human rights, tolerance, and good citizenship.
  • To read to more about the announcement by the UK Foreign Secretary, click 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:

Kazem Abu Khalaf
Head Field Public Information office in the West Bank
Tamara Alrifai
UNRWA Spokesperson/ Director of External Relations & Communications
+962 (0)79 090 0140