India pledges $10 million for UN agency working for Palestinian refugees
India on Tuesday announced it will contribute $10 million over the next two years to a key UN agency working for Palestinian refugees as part of efforts to ensure sustainable and predictable funding for the body
India on Tuesday announced it will contribute $10 million over the next two years to a key UN agency working for Palestinian refugees as part of efforts to ensure sustainable and predictable funding for the body.
Minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan announced India’s contribution for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) while participating in an extraordinary virtual ministerial pledging conference convened by Jordan and Sweden.
UNRWA needs continued support since “sustainability and predictability of funding is imperative for any agency or organisation to carry on its mandate without interruption”, he said.
“When certain countries withdrew funding, we had stepped up our annual pledge from $1.25 million to $5 million in 2018. For this year, we have already disbursed $2 million and will soon be remitting the balance $3 million. I am pleased to announce that we will contribute another $10 million to UNRWA over the coming two years,” Muraleedharan said.
Describing India as a “steadfast supporter of the Palestinian cause”, he said capacity enhancement through training and building durable institutions is a major plank of New Delhi’s developmental assistance.
India is working with the Palestinian side to organise more training programmes on virtual platforms amid the Covid-19 pandemic and is committed to timely disbursement of funds so that developmental projects continue on schedule, he said.
“We provide 250 annual scholarships to Palestinian youth and officials, apart from regular customised training programmes, and our current project grant is around $72 million,” Muraleedharan said.
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world and stretch governments’ resources to address healthcare and socio-economic needs, India is assisting countries in need of critical life-saving drugs despite a surge in domestic demand for medical supplies, he said. “We are sending a medical shipment to Palestine next week,” he added.