Finland has signed a new agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East worth €20 million ($21.8 million).
The multi-year agreement, which runs from 2023 to 2026, builds on existing cooperation between the parties and follows the previous arrangement, which ran from 2019 to 2022, during which an annual €5 million was contributed to the agency’s program budget.
Paivi Peltokoski, ambassador from the Representative Office of Finland in Ramallah, said: “Finland highly values the indispensable work of UNRWA with Palestine refugees, including in providing basic services, for example in education and healthcare.
“Finland is a long-standing and stable supporter of UNRWA. More than ever, UNRWA needs adequate funds, political support and sustainability to fulfill its core mandate.”
Karim Amer, director of partnerships at UNRWA, said: “On behalf of the agency, I would like to express my gratitude to the government of Finland for its commitment in supporting UNRWA with unearmarked and predictable funding disbursed early in the year.
“This trust is tremendously important for the agency and its stability, especially considering the difficult current financial situation.”
Finland’s contributions help UNRWA provide critical services to Palestinian refugees, such as running 140 healthcare facilities boasting more than 7 million patient visits, and 706 schools with over 500,000 students across its five fields of operation.