Denmark renews support for UNRWA for the next five years

Denmark UNRWA
UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini and Ambassador (Head of Mission) Ketil Karlsen from the Representative Office of Denmark in Ramallah sign a new Multi-Year Agreement (MYA) for the 2023-2027 period. © 2023 UNRWA Photo by Mohammed Sharif

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and Denmark have signed a new Multi-Year Agreement (MYA) for the 2023-2027 period, with a contribution of DKK 105 million (US$ 15.2 million) each year, for a total of DKK 525 million (US$ 75.2 million).

The agreement builds upon the strong and multifaceted cooperation between UNRWA and Denmark and follows the previous 2017-2021 MYA, extended through 2022. This new MYA reaffirms Denmark’s financial assistance to UNRWA and the country’s ongoing support for Palestine Refugees.

Ambassador (Head of Mission) Ketil Karlsen from the Representative Office of Denmark in Ramallah said, “We are happy to enter into this multi-year-agreement and provide predictable and flexible funding to UNRWA. In 2020, we increased our funding to UNRWA by 50 per cent and we will continue to provide assistance at this level as we go forward. Denmark sees UNRWA as an important stabilizing force in a region that is going through precarious times. In terms of substance, Denmark and UNRWA will, in particular, focus on youth and how we can help adolescents, as well as young girls and boys, to get skills enabling them to enter the labour market.”

Support of core UNRWA services

The Danish contribution will support core UNRWA services for Palestine Refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. UNRWA services include primary health care, quality, inclusive education, social protection services, infrastructure and camp improvement and protection.

“On behalf of UNRWA, I express my gratitude to the Government of Denmark for providing UNRWA with generous multi-year funding and, in particular, for disbursing their entire 2023 contribution upon the signing of this agreement, helping the Agency meet its funding needs this month. This is exceptionally important for the Agency’s ability to continue to serve Palestine Refugees, especially in the context of our chronic cycles of underfunding. The agreement sets also a new level of good donorship by giving the Agency predictable funding for the next five years to run its services – including education and health – across the region,”said UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini.

Denmark has supported UNRWA since 1951

In addition to Denmark’s ongoing financial support, UNRWA and Denmark are currently developing a Danish-funded research paper assessing in-demand employment sectors across the five fields of UNRWA operations and barriers to Palestine Refugee youth entry into the labour market. This is an excellent example of Denmark’s commitment for the well-being and empowerment of Palestine Refugees.

  • Denmark is a valued and well-established partner of UNRWA, having started its donations in 1951. In 2022, it contributed DKK 105 million to strengthen the delivery of the Agency’s crucial services to millions of Palestine Refugees across the Middle East.
  • Some 8,000 Palestine Refugee youth are enrolled in eight UNRWA Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) Centres across our five fields of operation. TVET graduates are hired at a near 80 per cent rate.
  • The Danish-funded research paper is tentatively scheduled to be available during the fourth quarter of 2023. (Source: UNRWA)