India Pledges To Donate $5 Million To Palestinian Refugees In 2020
As a mark of solidarity towards the Palestinian refugees, India has increased its pledge to donate US$ 5 million to the core budget of the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) in 2020.
It also voiced its concern over the agency’s financial situation which has funding gaps that can pose a risk in its core services to the refugees in fields such as education and health. India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said that the US$ 89 million funding gap this year needs to be taken care of in order to keep these important functions running.
The budget amount has been increased from 1.25 million in 2016 to 5 million next year. “We have contributed US$ 5 million in 2019 and pledge to contribute 5 million in 2020 also. India’s support and solidarity with the 5.5 million Palestine refugees remain strong and abiding,” The Print quoted Naidu as saying.
The country also appealed to the other traditional donors of the agency to consider bettering their contributions. To others, they appealed to consider donating to the cause of the refugees.
The UNRWA services are heavily dependent on the Palestine refugees. 3.1 million refugees use the health services, and the agency-run schools educate 5,26,000 students every year, half of which are constituted by females. Around 150 professionals are trained under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme and 100 students are given fully funded scholarships under the General Scholarship Scheme of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
In the last five years, agreements have been signed in the fields of agriculture, healthcare, information technology, youth affairs, women’s’ empowerment, media, and consular affairs. Around US$ 72 million have been offered financial support projects such as the post-2014 war reconstruction work in Gaza, construction of five schools, India Palestine Centre of Excellence for Informational and Communication Technologies at Al – Quds University, to name a few.