The Netherlands contributes funds for UNRWA’s provision of assistance, protection and advocacy – UNRWA press release

The Netherlands contributes EUR 13 million to UNRWA

18 April 2013

East Jerusalem 


The Netherlands government has made a voluntary contribution of EUR 13 million (US$ 16.25 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the year 2013. This contribution will go towards the assistance, protection and advocacy that UNRWA provides for some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory. 


Accepting the donation, UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi thanked the Dutch Government, stating: “We rely on strong partners like the Netherlands to keep our much needed programmes for Palestine refugees operational. We are extremely grateful to the Government and the people of the Netherlands for their consistent and generous support.”


“The Netherlands wishes to extend its deep appreciation to UNWRA for their great effort and dedication in assisting Palestine Refugees, often under difficult and complex circumstances”, said Dutch Representative to the Palestinian Authority and to UNRWA Birgitta Tazelaar.


She continued: “As donors and host countries alike face difficult economic situations, they have to make choices on how to spend their money, while at the same time the number of refugees supported by UNRWA continuous to grow and the Syrian crisis is creating more challenges. This makes it extremely important that UNRWA continues its efforts to further improve the efficiency of the organization and the transparency of the budget that shows refugees, governments and taxpayers how funds are being spent. The Netherlands has full confidence that UNRWA will live up to this challenge and will continue to support UNRWA in this process.”


The Netherlands government has been a longstanding partner of UNRWA, and in 2012 was the Agency’s seventh-largest donor.


UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

Background information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.


Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 67.2 million.


Support UNRWA’s emergency work in and around Syria.


For more information, please contact:


Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659 Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267

Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724


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