(From left) Representative of India to State of Palestine Sunil Kumar and Sami Mshasha, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of External Relations and Communication and Director of Communication of UNRWA. (UNRWA photo)
The Government of India on Wednesday contributed US$ 1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in support of the Agency’s programmes and services, including education, health care, relief and social services for Palestine refugees.
UNRWA said in a statement that the contribution was presented by Representative of India to State of Palestine Sunil Kumar.
Reiterating the Government of India's continued support for UNRWA services, Representative of India Sunil Kumar stated: “On behalf of the Government of India, I would like to express my appreciation for the remarkable efforts carried out by UNRWA. India shall continue supporting the Agency’s activities in providing vital services and necessary humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.”
Sami Mshasha, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of External Relations and Communication and Director of Communication of UNRWA, said: “This timely contribution in support of Palestine refugees is crucial and 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.”
During the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for UNRWA held on 23 June 2020, Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan announced that India will contribute US$ 10 million to UNRWA over the next two years.
It is worth noting that India has increased its annual financial contribution to UNRWA from US$ 1.25 million in 2017 to US$ 5 million in 2018 and 2019, and in May 2020, India contributed US$ 2 million, which brought its total contribution for 2020 to US$ 3 million.
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall.