The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was founded in 1949 to alleviate the immediate humanitarian distress among Palestinian refugees in the Middle East and to promote development-oriented activities. UNRWA focuses specifically on Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. The core activities of this organisation is the care of Palestinian refugees, with priorities on education, health care, infrastructure for housing, emergency assistance (food and financial) and microfinance.
Due to the financial support to UNRWA: a) the resolution of the Flemish Parliament of 7 January 2009 on the War in Gaza was implemented, in which the Flemish Government was asked to make efforts and join EU initiatives in sending emergency aid to Gaza; and b) the position of the Flemish Government of 30 September 2005 regarding the conflict in the Middle East was given effect – UNRWA has a stabilising impact on the entire region. Flemish foreign policy is therefore strongly aligned with that of the EU, since the EU is the largest donor to UNRWA.