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Danish support to UNRWA

Denmark provides programme budget support to UNRWA’s work providing basic health and educational services and social protection to the Palestinian refugees, as well as some of UNRWA’s more development related activities, such as microfinance, vocational training and job creation programs.

In the absence of a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is Denmark’s position that the international community remains morally obliged to uphold its stated commitment to Palestinian refugees. Denmark has voted in favour of the resolutions to support the work of UNRWA since 1949.

The organisational strategy for Denmark’s engagement with UNRWA 2017-2021 forms the basis for the Danish contributions to UNRWA, and it is the central platform for Denmark’s dialogue and partnership with the Agency. It sets out the Danish priorities for UNRWA’s performance within the overall framework established by UNRWA’s own Medium-Term Strategy (2016-2021).


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established in 1949 following the Arab-Israeli conflict by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 302 (IV). UNRWA started its operations in 1950 and due to the lack of a political solution the General Assembly has continuously renewed its mandate, most recently extending it three years from June 2017.

UNRWA is responsible for providing services and administering its installations, including schools, health centres and distribution centres, for Palestinian refugees in- and outside of Palestine. This aims at enabling the continued presence of the refugees in the regions of origin.

UNRWA defines Palestinian refugees as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

Over five million refugees are registered in the region - of those, close to two million live in Palestine constituting 45 per cent of the population . In Gaza, two thirds of the population (1.2 mio.) are refugees. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, it is one quarter (750.000).

UNRWA provide human development and humanitarian services within the areas of:

  • Primary and vocational education
  • Primary health care, relief and social services
  • Infrastructure and camp improvement
  • Microfinance programmes
  • Emergency response, including in situations of armed conflict

Nearly one third of the registered Palestine refugees live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as well as in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

Socioeconomic conditions in the camps are generally poor, with high population density, cramped living conditions and inadequate basic infrastructure such as roads and sewers.