India-UNRWA Current Affairs - 2020

India provides 2 million USD aid to United Nations Relief and Works Agency

On May 19, 2020, India provided 2 million USD relief aid to the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) to help in welfare of Palestine refugees. The aid is to be used in core programmes including education and health for the refugees.

Highlights

In 2019, India increased its annual contribution to UNRWA from 1.25 million USD in 2016 to 5 million USD in 2019. In 2020, India made an additional contribution of 5 million USD. This made Indian becoming a member in the UNRWA’s advisory commission.

Significance

There are more than 3.1 million Palestine refugees. They completely depend in the health services provided by UNRWA. UNRWA also educated 526,000 students every year. These refugees are Palestinians that fled their homes during 1948 war.

India-Palestine

India is also preparing medical supplies for the Palestinians in order to help them fight against COVID-19. India has also signed 17 agreements separately with Palestine. Under these agreements, India is to help Palestine in the fields of health, agriculture, youth affairs, Information Technology, consular affairs, media and women empowerment.

India is to provide 72 million USD through these projects. This will help in reconstruction efforts in Gaza to set up schools and centre of excellence for Information and Communication Technologies.

India contributes US$ 5 million to UNRWA in support of Palestine refugees

India has contributed US $5 million to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The contribution was provided in support of UNRWA’s core programmes and services, including education, health care, and relief and social services.

About UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)

It is relief and human development agency of UN which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, and their descendants. It is only UN agency dedicated to help refugees from specific region or conflict. It is separate from UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Founded: It was established December 1949 following 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict by UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 302 (IV).

Mandate: Its mandate is to contribute to welfare and human development of Palestine refugees, who had fled or were expelled from their homes during 1948 Palestine war as well during and following 1967 Six Day war.

Services: It originally offered services intended to provide jobs on public works projects and direct relief, but now it provides services like education, health care, and social services to population it supports. It also allows refugee status to be inherited by descendants. Currently, it serves about 5.3 million refugees scattered around Middle East.

Areas of Operation: It provides aid in 5 areas of operation viz. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Whereas, UNHCR provides aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas.

Funded: It is funded by voluntary contributions from member states of UN. It also receives some funding from regular budget of UN (mostly used for international staffing costs). India has increased its annual financial contribution to UNRWA from US $1.25 million in 2016 to US$ 5 million in 2018 and 2019.