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India contributes USD 1 million to UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been facing a huge budgetary deficit with a majority of 5.6 million Palestinian refugees who have been living under the poverty line.

Oct 15, 2020 15:29 IST
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The Indian government on October 14, 2020, contributed USD 1 million to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian refugees in the Near East.

The contribution which has also been hailed by the UN body is for the Palestinian refugees who have been facing extreme challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indian government had handed over the cheque to the United Nations Agency through Sunil Kumar, it's representative in Palestine. UNRWA- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East has thanked India for its timely help.

UNRWA faces increased demand due to the increased number of Palestinian refugees:

As per the authorities, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency has been facing a huge budgetary deficit with a majority of 5.6 million refugees who have been living under the poverty line. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has broken down the backbone of the infrastructure in the areas they live in.

The UN Agency has been facing increased demand in the services which results from growth in the number of registered Palestinian refugees, the extent of their deepening poverty, and vulnerability.

India’ help to Palestinian Refugees: Highlights

•  Director of Communications at UNRWA, Sami Mshasha acknowledged that India has always been a consistent supporter of Palestinian refugees for decades and this contribution by India is more significant at the crucial time.

•  On June 23, 2020, during an Extraordinary Ministerial Pledging Conference for UNRWA which was held virtually, V. Muraleedharan, the Minister of State for External Affairs had announced that India will contribute USD 10 million to UNRWA in the next 2 years.

•  The Indian government has also increased its annual financial contribution to the UN agency from USD 1.25 million in 2016 to USD 5 million in 2018 and 2019.

•  India had also contributed USD 2 million to UNRWA in May 2020 which takes the total contribution for this year to USD 3 million.

•  India has also sent the medicines and other essential supplies to the Palestinian National Authority to help with the COVID-19 situation.

India-Palestine Development Partnership:

Under this partnership, India has been currently funding 8 ongoing developmental projects that are worth USD 59 million dollars. It includes building an Information Technology Park, 215 Bed Super Specialty Hospital in Bethlehem, National Printing Press, Diplomatic Training Institute, Turathi-Women empowerment project, three schools in various governorates in the Palestinian Territories, and Diplomatic Training Institute.

What is UNRWA and what is its objective?

It is a UN agency which was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949. The agency is mandated to provide protection and assistance to some 5.6 million Palestine refugees who are registered with UNRWA across its 5 fields of operation.

The mission of UNRWA is to help the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, West Bank, including Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem achieve their full human development potential.

The services of UNRWA encompass health care, education, camp infrastructure, relief and social services, and protection, improvement, and microfinance among the Palestinian refugees.

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