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India pledges USD 10 million to UNRWA over next two years

India has pledged an additional USD 10 million to UNRWA for next 2 years, over and above USD 5 million contribution announced for this year.

Jun 24, 2020 11:57 IST
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India has pledged USD 10 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) over the coming two years.

The announcement was made by the Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on June 23, 2020 while addressing the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for UNRWA. Muraleedharan said that capacity enhancement through training and building durable institutions is a major plank of our developmental assistance to Palestine.

The Minister of State for External Affairs announced the funding while asserting that UNRWA needs continued support. He stated that when certain countries withdrew funding, India had stepped up its annual pledge from USD 125 million to USD 5 million in 2018.

Muraleedharan also stated that India also deeply appreciates the generous support and untiring work of the host countries, donors and UNRWA to ensure that millions of Palestinians displaced from their homeland lead a life of dignity.

India’s strong support to Palestinian Cause

India has pledged an additional USD 10 million to UNRWA for next 2 years, over and above USD 5 million contribution announced for this year. India has already disbursed USD 2 million to UNRWA in 2020 and will soon be remitting the remaining USD 3 million.

Besides this fund, India provides 250 annual scholarships to Palestinian youth and officials, apart from regular customised training programmes. India’s current project grant is around USD 72 million. India plans to organise more and more training programmes for Palestinian youth on virtual platforms till resumption of normal travel. Capacity enhancement through training and building durable institutions is a major plank of India's developmental assistance to Palestine.

India to donate life-saving drugs to Palestine

India will be donating life-saving drugs to Palestine to help them combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister of State for External Affairs V V Muraleedharan made the announcement during the virtual meeting. 

V Muraleedharan stated that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, stretching governments’ resources to address healthcare and socio-economic needs of their people and constraining their capacities to assist others. However, he said that the victory over this unprecedented crisis demands collective and concerted action. Therefore, despite a rise in domestic demand for medical supplies amid rising COVID cases, India is assisting countries in need of critical, life-saving drugs. India will be sending a medical shipment to Palestine next week. 

India-Palestine relations

India is a major development partner of Palestine and a steadfast supporter of the Palestine cause. India’s relations with Palestine have largely been influenced by the independence struggle against British colonialism.

India had recognized Palestine's statehood following declaration on November 18, 1988. India was the first non-Arab nation to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organisation's authority as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. 

India had opened a Representative Office in Gaza on June 25, 1996. Indian support to the Palestinian cause has been consistent and unwavering. India has consistently supported the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to a State and the consequent imperative need for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region and a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had become the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine in 2018.

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