Palestinian Refugees, The Indian government has donated $2.5 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), prompting the agency to welcome the “generous contribution at a difficult time.” This is part of India’s annual contribution of $5 million to UNRWA for fiscal year 2023-2024.
UNRWA was established in 1950 to carry out direct relief and work programs for registered Palestinian refugees. Headquartered in Gaza City with operations in the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, the agency provides critical education, healthcare, social services and humanitarian aid to some 5.6 million registered Palestinian refugees across the region.
Virtually all of UNRWA’s funding comes from voluntary contributions by UN member states. According to an official statement, India’s donation will support core UNRWA services like food aid, schools, health clinics and shelters.
Indian Representative Renu Yadav presented the contribution to UNRWA’s Karim Amer at the agency’s West Bank field office. Yadav emphasized India’s ongoing support for UNRWA initiatives in the region.
India on Monday handed the UNRWA $2.5 million as part of its annual contribution of $5 million for the year 2023-24 to support the agency’s core programmes and services, including education, healthcare, relief, and social services provided to Palestinian refugees, the Representative Office of India at Ramallah said.
The contribution was handed over by the Representative of India (ROI) to Palestine, Renu Yadav, to the Director of Partnerships, Department of External Relations of UNRWA, Karim Amer. An official press release said that the ROI underlined India’s continued support for the agency’s activities in the region and its services to Palestinian refugees during the handover ceremony at UNRWA’s field office in Jerusalem.
The UNRWA spokesperson, Tamara Alrifai, welcomed the generous contribution from India, saying that it was most welcome during these difficult times and in the face of huge needs across the region, particularly in Gaza.
The UN agency’s spokesperson, Tamara Alrifai, told reporters that India’s “very generous contribution” has come at a difficult time given the tremendous needs across the region, particularly in Gaza. She conveyed the agency’s appreciation to the Indian government for the donation.
According to India’s Representative Office in Ramallah, the $2.5 million forms part of India’s yearly $5 million contribution to UNRWA for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
On Monday, India’s Representative to Palestine, Renu Yadav, handed over the donation to Karim Amer, Director of Partnerships at UNRWA’s Department of External Relations, during a ceremony at the agency’s West Bank office.
Ms Yadav underlined India’s ongoing support for UNRWA’s activities and essential services for Palestinian refugees. Expressing gratitude, Mr Amer highlighted India’s sustained assistance to UNRWA.
UNRWA has faced an escalating funding gap in recent years, struggling to meet rising demands stemming from both an increase in the number of registered refugees and their growing poverty.
The agency provides key services, including education, healthcare and social services, to over 5.6 million registered Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
UN officials warn that without increased financial assistance, UNRWA will be forced to make drastic cuts to life-saving relief programs.
The recent 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, pushing the area to the brink of collapse. Over 75,000 Palestinians have been displaced, critical infrastructure has been damaged, and key medical supplies are critically low.
Last week, India rushed 32 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza through Egypt’s El Arish port. New Delhi has contributed $27.5 million to UNRWA since 2018.
India boosted its support at a pledging conference in June 2020, announcing an extra $10 million for UNRWA over two years. The donation highlights India’s ongoing backing for Palestinian refugees and UNRWA’s vital operations at a time of incredible hardship.
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