Sweden donates US$ 4.8 million in emergency support for Palestine refugees in the West Bank and Gaza

28 May 2015

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has announced a new SEK 40 million (US$ 4.8 million) contribution to the UNRWA Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory. 

The Emergency Appeal addresses the humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, through interventions such as emergency food and livelihood support for the most vulnerable families, and the promotion and protection of the rights of refugees and living through acute crises.

This contribution from Sweden forms part of a multi-year agreement for 2014-2016.

“Sweden’s continued support for UNRWA through multi-year agreements provides sustainability and predictability that is essential for UNRWA to continue supporting refugees living through humanitarian crises,” said the Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, Robert Turner. “The un-earmarked funds allow the Agency to react quickly to urgent and evolving needs, and are reflective of the excellent humanitarian support that Sweden is known for.”  

Sweden is the fourth-largest UNRWA donor, contributing over US$ 989 million to the Agency since 1951. This support provides vital assistance to Palestine refugees living through humanitarian emergencies in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, and helps UNRWA provide more than 5 million registered refugees with vital health care, education, relief and social services. Sweden has been a member of the UNRWA Advisory Commission since 2005, and currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the commission.

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 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance. 

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)258 90724
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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