India has contributed $2 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of its core programs and services including education, healthcare and relief and social services.
The agency expressed its appreciation for this “generous contribution” coming at a “critical moment” when the coronavirus pandemic has put a huge strain on its operations.
The Government of India presented US$ 2 million to the #UnitedNations Relief and Works Agency for #Palestine Refugees in the Near East (#UNRWA), in support of the Agency’s core programmes and services, including education, health care, relief and social services.@MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/Su2Z92cNmQ
— India in Palestine – الهند في فلسطين (@ROIRamallah) December 10, 2020
With this contribution presented to the UN agency by the Representative of India to the State of Palestine, Sunil Kumar, India has provided a total of $5 million to UNRWA this year.
“On behalf of the Government of India, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the remarkable efforts carried out by UNRWA,” he said.
“India shall continue supporting the Agency’s activities in providing vital services and necessary humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.”
A large portion of the funding is aimed at covering cash and food assistance to this particularly vulnerable population, as the socio-economic consequences of the public health crisis continue to weigh heavily on Palestinian refugees.
With these $2m, India fulfills the conditions to become a member of UNRWA Advisory Commission. Bravo India!!! And thanks for being a committed and reliable partner to #UNRWA. @ROIRamallah @IndiaUNNewYork #PalestineRefugeesAtRisk @TamaraAlrifai https://t.co/uEjdPQbj15
— Marc Lassouaoui (@MarcLassouaoui) December 11, 2020
UNRWA’s funding comes almost entirely from voluntary donations made by UN member states. The agency has faced severe financial difficulties since the Trump administration stopped US aid donations altogether in 2018.
Tamara Alrifai, spokeswoman for UNRWA, said: “This generous contribution in support of Palestine refugees at this critical moment is very much appreciated. On behalf of UNRWA, I would like to thank the Government of India for its continued funding to the Agency and its backing of Palestine refugees across the Middle East.”
DIARY OF AN UNRWA KID – By Ramzy Baroud (Al Jazeera)
Many years after joining the UNRWA education system, I still identify with that UNRWA kid that I was. Sometimes, I wonder what has befallen my old desk in my first UNRWA classroom. Has it collapsed… https://t.co/MJVIuqiMQk
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) November 6, 2018
Earlier this year, the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki handed Kumar a deed for a plot of land in Ramallah as a gift from the Palestinian government to India to build its temporary embassy until the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital where the embassy headquarters would be located.
In February 2018, the Palestinian government and India signed agreements for project assistance worth $41.35 million.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)