United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA was established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 (A/RES/302 (IV)) to carry out direct relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees. UNRWA has its headquarters in Gaza and Amman, with field offices in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.


UNRWA was founded to carry out relief and works programmes for Palestine refugees following the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948. It was created as a provisional organization but, as a consequence of the inability of the international community and the immediate parties to the Middle East conflict to find a political solution and to solve the problem of Palestine's refugees, it has become the most important permanent relief agency in the area.

UNRWA's work is to

  • provide basic humanitarian services to the Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
  • provide the refugees with basic assistance in health care, education and other social areas.

With the exception of a small amount from the regular budget of the UN, UNRWA is almost exclusively financed through voluntary contributions.

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Last modified: 2024-02-15