New Delhi: India has donated USD 2.5 million to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). This generous contribution was welcomed by UNRWA at a challenging time, especially in Gaza. The donation is part of India's annual contribution of USD 5 million for the year 2023-24 to support UNRWA's core programs and services for Palestinian refugees, covering education, healthcare, relief, and social services.
India handed over the contribution through its Representative of India (ROI) to Palestine, Renu Yadav, to the Director of Partnerships, Department of External Relations of UNRWA, Karim Amer. The ROI emphasized India's continued support for UNRWA's activities in the region during the handover ceremony at UNRWA's field office in Jerusalem.
UNRWA has been facing challenges in providing basic services to Palestinians, particularly after the October 7 Israel-Hamas conflict, leading to the displacement of a significant portion of the Gaza population. India's donation comes amid increased needs in the region, and UNRWA expressed gratitude for the generous contribution.
Earlier in November, India delivered 32 tonnes of humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine through the El-Arish Airport in Egypt. Since 2018, India has contributed a total of USD 27.5 million to UNRWA. The agency is mandated to assist and protect around 5.6 million Palestinian refugees across its five fields of operation.
During the first-ever Indian Prime Minister's visit to Palestine in February 2018, India increased its annual financial contribution to the UNRWA core budget from USD 1.25 million to USD 5 million. India has also urged other traditional donors of UNRWA to enhance their contributions, encouraging non-donor member states to consider contributing to the agency in solidarity with Palestine refugees.