Luxembourg and UNRWA Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement, including EUR 12.3 million for Palestine Refugees

16 September 2021
(From left) Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Franz Fayot and UNRWA Commissioner-General Mr. Philippe Lazzarini sign a multi-year contribution agreement. © 2021 UNRWA Photo

Today, the Government of Luxembourg signed a multi-year Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Under the 2022-24 Strategic Partnership Framework, Luxembourg will contribute EUR 12.3 million assistance in support of the Agency’s operations over a three-year period. Luxembourg’s donation will help UNRWA continue to provide critical support, including education and healthcare services, to Palestine refugees across the Agency’s five fields of operations.

In response to the signing, Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Franz Fayot, remarked: “I am very happy to announce that the Government of Luxembourg has decided to renew its strategic partnership in support of the Agency’s work during the period 2022-2024. This strategic partnership represents our determined commitment and solidarity to Palestine refugees at a time when the Middle East continues to experience serious humanitarian crisis, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini noted: “This multi-year agreement offers UNRWA vital financial predictability to counter continuing funding gaps. On behalf of the Agency, I would like to thank the Government of Luxembourg for its generous contribution in support of the Palestine refugee community. We deeply appreciate the steadfast and strategic cooperation that UNRWA and the Government of Luxembourg have developed over the years.”

The Government of Luxembourg is a long-standing and trusted donor to UNRWA. In 2020, the Government of Luxembourg was the overall 25th largest contributor to the Agency, offering vital support at a time when UNRWA faced an existential crisis. It is thanks to the enduring support of donors like the Government of Luxembourg that the Agency can provide critical services to Palestine refugees across the Middle East, in light of current funding challenges. 

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations, namely the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. Thousands of Palestine refugees who lost both their homes and livelihood because of the 1948 conflict have remained displaced and in need of significant support for over seventy years. UNRWA helps them 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