As part of its commitment to the Palestinian cause, India has increased its annual contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from $1.5 million to $5 million from 2018-19 for a period of three years, the External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the ministry said India had made the announcement of this substantive increase in annual contribution at the extraordinary ministerial conference held in Rome on 15 March following a flash appeal made by the UNRWA, which is faced with a major funds crunch.
“This enhancement was made in the backdrop of the unprecedented financial crisis being faced by UNRWA, which has been delivering valuable public services to Palestine refugees around the world,” the statement added.
The ministry said the four-fold increase in India’s contribution was based on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s commitment to enhance support to the UNRWA at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting on Palestine on 19 September last year.
This was also part of India’s enhanced engagement with Palestine, particularly in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Palestine on 10 February., the ministry said.