India pledges USD 10 million to UNRWA over next two years

New Delhi: India has announced contributing 10 million US dollar to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) over the coming two years.

Addressing an Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for UNRWA, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said yesterday that capacity enhancement through training and building durable institutions is a major plank of our developmental assistance to Palestine.

Asserting that UNRWA needs continued support, Mr Muraleedharan said when certain countries withdrew funding, India had stepped up its annual pledge from 1.25 million US dollar to 5 million US dollar in 2018. He said, for this year, India has already disbursed two million dollar and will soon be remitting the balance three million dollar. He said, India provides 250 annual scholarships to Palestinian youth and officials, apart from regular customised training programmes, and our current project grant is around 72 million dollar. He said, as a steadfast supporter of the Palestinian cause, India deeply appreciates the generous support and untiring work of host countries, donors and UNRWA to ensure millions of our Palestinian brothers and sisters displaced from their homeland lead a life of dignity.

He said, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, stretching governments’ resources to address healthcare and socio-economic needs of their own people, and constraining capacities to assist others. He said, but victory over this unprecedented crisis demands collective and concerted action. He said, therefore, despite a surge in domestic demand for medical supplies amidst rising Covid cases, India is assisting countries in need of critical, life saving drugs. He said, India is sending a medical shipment to Palestine next week.

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