Assistance for Palestinian refugees in 2017-2020

Local news, 12.01.2017

The Swiss Government approved a four-year contribution (2017-2020) to the Programme Budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for a total amount of CHF 78.5 Mio. Through this unearmarked and predictable contribution, Switzerland renews its support to UNRWA’s core mandate in servicing five million Palestine refugees through education, healthcare, social services and protection.

Because of the exceptional financial shortages of UNRWA in 2016 and 2017, Switzerland made two additional unearmarked contributions to UNRWA’s Programme Budget -- CHF 2.1 Mio for 2016 and CHF 2 Mio for 2017. Through these contributions, Switzerland contributed to the collective efforts of several donors and enabled UNRWA to bridge its financial gap in 2016, preventing reduction of services.

In addition, Switzerland contributed to the 2016 Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory with an amount of CHF 1.3 Mio to support refugees in the Gaza Strip who are still displaced following the 2014 conflict, as well as those in the West Bank who are facing acute protection threats. The aim of the Emergency Appeals  is to respond to the  humanitarian needs of refugees directly affected by he conflict.  

Finally, Switzerland made an additional contribution to the project Protection reform of CHF 0.6 Mio, bringing its dedicated support to reform process, which aims at increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of UNRWA, to CHF 1.9 Mio for 2016-17.