India pledges USD 10M to UN for Palestine refugees amid COVID-19 pandemic

Briti Roy Barman

New Delhi, June 24: India has announced to contribute 10 million US dollar to the United Nation's (UN) Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) over the coming two years.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Tuesday said that capacity enhancement through training and building durable institutions is a major plank of our developmental assistance to Palestine while addressing an extraordinary virtual ministerial pledging conference for UNRWA.

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The Minister 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.

Muraleedharan said, for this year, India has already disbursed two million dollars and will soon be remitting the balance three million dollars.

Asserting that UNRWA needs continued support, the Minister said, India provides 250 annual scholarships to Palestinian youth and officials, apart from regular customised training programmes, and the current project grant is around 72 million dollars.

"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", said Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan.

"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."

But victory over this unprecedented crisis demands collective and concerted action."
"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. India is sending a medical shipment to Palestine next week", said Muraleedharan.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 in Palestine is 1,169 following three deaths while India sees the highest single-day spike of 15,968 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday. The death toll rose to 14,476 with 465 new deaths.

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