UNRWA partnering with UN Volunteers


The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to respond to the plight of Palestinian refugees. Since 2015, the depth of the partnership has greatly increased. Some 165 UN Volunteers have now served in 3 countries supporting UNRWA’s mission of "contributing to the welfare and human development of Palestine refugees".

UN Volunteer teacher Khaled Osman, teacher of grade 10 & 11, while checking one of his student's work during their exam. The exams were held at Al Jarmak School in Saadnayel, the Bekaa Valley. (Nadim Bou Habib, 2016)

UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UNRWA’s mandate. UN Volunteers provide primary and vocational education in schools for refugees in Lebanon, facilitate primary health care, relief and social services, promote protection and emergency response, support camp infrastructure, bridge social gender gaps and encourage the development of Palestinian refugees on both a national and community level.

For the first time, Palestinian refugees legally residing in Lebanon are serving as national UN Volunteer Teachers at UNRWA schools for Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria. These UN Volunteers are well-placed to address the trauma experienced by children and their families and, by the very nature of volunteerism’s inclusiveness, advance UNRWA’s efforts to support and protect Palestinian refugees.

UNV promotes volunteering around the world and this is the first time such a programme is introduced inside Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. We are proud of our UN Volunteers and community volunteers for their enthusiasm, passion and commitment. --Luca Renda, UNDP Country Director

Though the partnership has existed for a number of years, it experienced a significant boost in 2015 through the deployment of this unique approach, which is now being replicated in Kenya with UNHCR.

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