India has contributed $2 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) working for the welfare of Palestinian refugees in support of its core programmes and services.
The fund comes in response to COVID-19 in the areas of health care, sanitation and hygiene and education.
Since the start of the crisis, the Agency has been working to deliver essential, lifesaving services to Palestine refugees throughout the Middle East.
A large portion of the funding is aimed at covering cash and food assistance to this particularly vulnerable population, as the socio-economic consequences of the public health crisis continue to weigh heavily on Palestinian refugees.
Marc Lassouaoui, chief of the Donor Relations at the agency, said: “On behalf of the agency, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Government of India for advancing part of its contribution, which will help UNRWA address cash flow challenges.”
UNRWA’s funding comes almost entirely from voluntary donations made by UN member states. The Agency has faced severe financial difficulties ever since the Trump administration stopped US aid donations altogether in 2018.
The contribution was presented to the UN agency by the Representative of India to the State of Palestine, Sunil Kumar.
“The continued determination and commitment of India in support of the Palestine refugees is commendable, in particular under the current circumstances brought on us by Covid-19,” he said.
“On behalf of the Government of India, I would like to express my appreciation for the commendable work and endeavours carried out by the UNRWA. We believe that our contribution will support the agency’s activities in providing the needed assistance to Palestinian refugees, and assist in achieving their full human development potential,” stated Kumar.
After decades of standing behind the Palestinian people, India under Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party tilted in Israel’s favour.
Under the right-wing Modi government, India has struck a special bond with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The past few years has seen the two countries move further to the right and taking positions on domestic and international issues that are at odds with international law.