United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

Blue on white high R copyWhat is UNRWA?

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency providing education, health, social services, protection, micro finance, micro credit, infrastructure and emergency aid to 5 million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. UNRWA is by far the largest UN operation in the Middle East, with around 30,000 staff, almost all of them refugees themselves, working directly to benefit their communities – as teachers, doctors, nurses or social workers.

UNRWA at a glance (pdf)

UN-led Campaign Supported by Millions Globally Tells the Parties to the Syria Conflict: End Restrictions on Civilians Now

Yarmouk How Much LongerAn unprecedented social media campaign generating more than 31.6 million ‘impressions’ and reaching tens of millions around the world has demanded that the parties to the Syria conflict allow aid to flow to Yarmouk, the besieged Damascus neighbourhood and a key area hosting Palestine refugees in Syria. The campaign, which was backed by celebrities like Mia Farrow, Hugh Grant and Arab Idol Mohammed Assaf, brought together UN agencies such as UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, OHCHR, OCHA and UNRWA as well as NGOs, among them Human Rights Watch, Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee and grassroots organizations with deep reach into their communities. Further details of campaign Thunderclap can be found here.  

Commissioner-General Visits Brussels 

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29 January 2014- UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi visited Brussels for meetings with the European Parliament and with HE Baroness Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and  Security Policy. Mr. Grandi thanked Baroness Ashton for the long-standing and invaluable commitment  she has shown to supporting Palestine refugees through the Agency. He presented her with  a plaque commemorating the olive tree - a symbol of peace - that UNRWA has planted in her honour in the West  Bank, recognizing the strength and reliability of her support.

While in Brussels, Mr. Grandi sat for an exclusive interview on humanitarian access to Yarmouk, Syria with Le Soir. The situation is dramatic and hunger is rampant. Le Soir subscribers may read the full article here. 

Yarmouk Le soir


UNRWA Syria Emergency  Update 


The current regional crisis, triggered by the way in Syria, is one of the most trying challenges UNRWA has faced since it was created to assist Palestine refugees after their original dispossession and dispersion throughout the region in 1948. Without faltering in its core work of providing assistance to further the human development of a population of over 5 million Palestine refugees across the region, and despite chronic financial constraints, UNRWA is now responding to the critical needs of Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria. This includes the Palestine refugee population inside Syria, as well as those who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan, and the small number who have reached Gaza. Many Palestine refugees have sought safety in Egypt, Turkey and further afield. While these countries are beyond UNRWA's area of operation, the Agency is actively advocating for them to receive the support they need. The scale of the Syria conflict and its devastating humanitarian consequences continue to outstrip forecasts and planning scenarios. Find the Syria Emergency Appeal here.

     Syria Regional Crisis Response July - December 2013

Syria Regional Crisis Response July - December 2013











Latest News Update: UNRWA Syria Crisis Response, Issue 69

Syria 68











 What does the Representative Office to the EU do?

  • Strengthens the Agency’s visibility and interaction with key partners, mainly the European Union institutions, the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the United Nations System present in Brussels, Research, Policy and University Institutes, NGOs, and maintaining close liaison with Permanent Representations of EU Member States;
  • Facilitates the strategic positioning and contributions of UNRWA on critical political, humanitarian and developmental issues, and represents the Agency in the relevant fora;
  • Advocates UNRWA’s mandate within the EU, and among the key partners as well as with the wider public; informs, represents and where appropriate, coordinates UNRWA activities with the UN system and other strategic partners such as the various bodies of the European Union;
  • Provides information to the general public and news correspondents, universities, responds to queries, gives interviews and fulfils speaking engagements concerning Agency affairs;
  • Gives advice to UNRWA Headquarters on issues related to its interaction with the key partners and other EU donors, and thus assists in the knowledge-based management of the Agency. Assists UNRWA External Relations Department and Information Department.

 UNRWA Websites  



UNRWA Gallery 

Operation #GiveWrap UNRWA Winterization Campaign for Syria 









UNRWA Reforming Education




UNRWA -EU 2013 Film Competition- 1st Prize "Dance on the Roof" 









Visit the UNRWA Photo and Video Gallery 

UNRWA Committees in the EU


UNRWA Contact

UNRWA Representative Office to the European Union
Residence Palace (Letter Box 107)
8th floor
Rue de la Loi, 155
B-1040 Bruxelles
Tel: +32.2 290 34 30
Fax. +32.2.290 34 39
E-mail: info@unrwa.eu

Contact Persons:
Mr. Matthias Burchard,
Ms. Elena Mancusi-Materi,
   Senior Liaison Officer (EU
   member states & emerging
Ms. Nathalie Stanus,
   Liaison Officer
   (EU Institutions)
Ms. Rosa Bahl,
   Associate Liaison Officer
   (Private Partnerships)
Ms. Bonsile Dube, Assistant

Work for UNRWA

Jobs: Click here

Internships: Unpaid internship opportunities are open at the Representative Office to the EU in Brussels, for a minimum of three months and a maximum of six.

The positions are available preferably on full-time basis, and may be renewed subject to requirements of the office. Interns will contribute to UNRWA's inter-agency, non-governmental and donor liaison tasks, as well as public information work, and provide other support as needed.

The internships provide a valuable opportunity to familiarise yourself with substantive humanitarian and development policy issues and the UN system.

In Brussels, applications are welcome from master's degree holders or students enrolled in a master's degree programme. Applications should include a cover letter of motivation, a CV/resume and a short writing sample on a relevant subject.

Fluency in written and spoken English is a requirement. Only candidates under consideration will be contacted.

Email or fax your application to:
Fax: +32 2 290 3439