Sweden: UNRWA´s 4th biggest donor

UNRWA Sweden
© 2022 UNRWA Photo by Mohamed Hinnawi

The Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Leni Stenseth, and representatives of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) discussed the longstanding partnership between Sweden and the Agency at the annual High-Level Consultations held in Stockholm this week.

Sweden is a key financial and political partner of UNRWA. In 2022, Sweden contributed US$ 60.9 million to the Agency, ranking 4thamong the Agency’s overall donors.

Strong commitment

Leni Stenseth Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA
Leni Stenseth Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA

During a two-day official mission to Sweden, Deputy Commissioner-General Stenseth also met with senior government officials and parliamentarians to raise awareness on the Agency’s work and the need for continued political and financial support to address the needs of millions of Palestine Refugees in the region. “Sweden’s continued support for Palestine Refugees reflects its strong commitment to human rights, development and stability. At a time of global upheaval and regional instability, UNRWA keeps a sense of normality in the lives of Palestine Refugees, through the running of schools, health centres and other critical services. We are truly grateful for this partnership with Sweden,” she said.

Stability and hope

The annual High-Level Consultations focused on the Agency’s new six-year strategic cycle, its operations and plans to mobilize adequate resources. Stenseth reiterated the full commitment of UNRWA to deliver services in a way that is professional, transparent and in full compliance with the humanitarian principles. She expressed concern over how shifting geopolitical priorities and regional dynamics, coupled with the emergence of new humanitarian crises, have deprioritized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its consequences on Palestine Refugees. Stenseth also emphasized the Agency’s role in providing a sense of stability and hope in refugee communities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.