The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees on Tuesday welcomed India’s $2.5 million donation, saying the generous contribution comes at a “difficult time” given the situation, particularly in Gaza.
Since its establishment in 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) has conducted direct relief and work projects for registered Palestinian refugees. Almost all of its funding comes from voluntary donations from UN members.
According to the Indian Representative Office in Ramallah, India on Monday donated $2.5 million to UNRWA as part of its annual contribution of $5 million for the 2023-2024 financial year . This money will support the agency’s core programs and services, which include relief, health care, education and social services for Palestinian refugees.
The contribution was handed over by the Representative of India (ROI) in Palestine, Renu Yadav, to the Director of Partnerships of the UNRWA Department of External Relations, Karim Amer.
The KING highlighted India’s continued support for the agency’s activities in the region and the services it provides to Palestinian refugees during the handover ceremony at the UNRWA field office in Jerusalem, according to a official press release.
UNRWA spokesperson Tamara Alrifai said PTI that the agency received a very generous contribution from India yesterday (Monday), which is very welcome in these difficult times and in the face of enormous needs in the region, particularly in Gaza.
UNRWA has struggled to provide basic services to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians since the October 7 conflict between Israel and Hamas, which caused more than two-thirds of Gaza’s approximately 2.3 million residents to flee their homes. homes.
Earlier on November 19, India delivered 32 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people through El-Arish Airport in Egypt. Since 2018, India has contributed $27.5 million to UNRWA.
At an extraordinary ministerial pledging conference for UNRWA held on June 23, 2020, India announced that it would contribute $10 million to UNRWA over the next two years.
Before the war in Gaza, UNRWA was already facing increased demand for services resulting from the increase in the number of registered Palestinian refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. The agency is mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.6 million Palestinian refugees registered with it across its five areas of operation.
Its mission is to help Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, realize their full human development potential, while awaiting a just and lasting solution. to their fate. UNRWA services include education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance for Palestinian refugees.
During the Indian Prime Minister’s first-ever visit to Palestine in February 2018, India quadrupled its annual financial contribution to the UNRWA core budget from $1.25 million to $5 million.
India also made a strong appeal to other traditional donors to UNRWA to consider increasing their contributions, as well as to non-donor member states to consider contributing to the agency in solidarity with Palestinian refugees.
With the contribution of agencies