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Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

The Government pays out SEK 100 million to UNRWA


The Government is paying out SEK 100 million in core support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The disbursement is being made in response to the urgent humanitarian situation in Gaza and in light of the new measures UNRWA has taken to strengthen internal supervision and control.

“The Government continues to increase humanitarian support to civilians in Gaza. In line with the agreement Sweden reached with UNRWA in March, and in light of the measures UNRWA has taken to respond to our demands, we are now making the second instalment of our core support. This is an important decision given the urgent need in Gaza and is primarily about medical care, shelter and food support,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell. 

The allegations against some UNRWA employees, who are still under investigation, are extremely serious. The Government has therefore emphasised the importance of UNRWA tightening its procedures to ensure its neutrality as a humanitarian organisation. On 22 April 2024, an independent investigation into UNRWA was completed by France’s former Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General. The investigation made 50 concrete recommendations on how UNRWA should strengthen its internal governance and control procedures. The organisation has subsequently presented an action plan to implement these recommendations. 

UNRWA has also made progress in meeting the stipulations placed on the organisation. These include systematic reviews of staff to ensure that none of the employees are on EU sanctions lists. Sweden has worked closely with the European Commission in this process. On 31 May 2024, the EU Commission also decided to proceed with its second payment to UNRWA of EUR 16 million.

The Government has allocated a total of SEK 400 million to UNRWA for 2024. On 9 March 2024, the Government decided to make a first disbursement of SEK 200 million, following UNRWA’s written assurances to Sweden regarding increased transparency and stricter procedures. Today’s decision concerns the second disbursement of SEK 100 million. 


Sweden is one of the largest donors to several humanitarian actors operating in Gaza, including UNRWA. Since 7 October 2023, Sweden has increased humanitarian assistance by more than SEK 520 million in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Press contact

Victoria Holmqvist
Press Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 76-142 29 39
email to Victoria Holmqvist