Long-term support to UNRWA’s reform

Project completed
Imm al-Kheir mobile health clinic in the West Bank, © 2014 UNRWA

This intervention will enable UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East) to further implement its development mandate by supporting two substantial components of its 2011-15 reform agenda; namely, UNRWA Resource Mobilization Strategy and UNRWA e-Health Information System,  These two reforms will improve the overall provision of direct services to Palestine refugees by increasing funding for the Agency, with the implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy, and by strengthening its internal management capacities, with the implementation of the e-Health Information System

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Occupied Palestinian Territory
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Primary education
Primary health care
Material relief assistance
01.01.2015 - 31.12.2015
CHF  1’296’883

In 2011, UNRWA launched a far reaching reform process set to improve the provision of direct services to Palestine refugees. The plan achieved remarkable successes, but funding shortfalls have partially delayed the process and risk jeopardizing the efficiency gains underway. However, the Agency has showed strong commitment to the reform process, including in the deteriorating regional context.


Reforms enable UNRWA to better implement its development mandate by providing better quality and more efficient services to Palestine refugees

Target groups

UNRWA itself as an institution, including its 5 Mio beneficiaries and 30,000 employees

Medium-term outcomes
  • Funding of UNRWA is increased with the implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy and allows the organization to fulfill its mandate without cutting basic services nor compromising quality.
  • Internal management is strengthened in its decision-making capacity with the rolling-out of a comprehensive e-Health system which utilises computer technologies to support the Health Reform.

Expected results:  

  • Additional funds are attracted from new donors (Arab countries, private sector and emerging markets) and UNRWA is able to bridge the 2015 General Fund gap.
  • E-Health is expanded to 12 health centers, effectively supporting processes and data collection requirements (e.g.  consultations, assessment of non-communicable diseases, medicines dispensary, etc.) and the 68 centers that have already transitioned will receive technical support in the form of training, monitoring and evaluation and technical assistance

Results from previous phases:  

  • The Resource Mobilization Strategy (RMS) has been particularly successful in the fundraising with Arab states and private sector (in 2014 alone, pledged contributions from these two sources amounted to over USD 200 Mio).
  • The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system was entirely built. Results in terms of strengthened internal management in finance, procurement and logistics, human resources and payroll will be reported in 2015 as the system will go live. The ERP reform is completed; Switzerland intends to now focus on another area


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Other partners

The 30 members and observers of UNRWA Advisory Commission (donors and host countries). The top-five donors are US, EC, UK, Sweden and Norway.

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • The intervention is complementary to the regular un-earmarked General Fund contribution from the Humanitarian credit line and constitutes a follow-up to past contributions to the Resource Mobilization Strategy (2012-2014) from the Regional Cooperation credit line.
  • Switzerland seeks and facilitates coordination with like-minded donors and host countries on matters related to the reforms.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’296’883 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’296’883
Project phases Phase 5 01.07.2021 - 30.06.2023   (Completed) Phase 4 01.01.2018 - 30.06.2021   (Completed) Phase 3 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.12.2013 - 31.12.2014   (Completed)