New York [US], September 23 (ANI): Reiterating its support for UNRWA, India has enhanced its annual contribution to the agency from USD 1.25 million in 2018 to USD 5 million, and has contributed close to USD 30 million over the last five years, for the welfare of Palestine people.
Dammu Ravi, the Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (ER) represented India at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Ministerial Meeting.
Addressing the meeting, he said,"At the outset, let me reiterate India's support to UNRWA. The Agency has been playing a critical role as a provider of development, humanitarian, and social services to the Palestinian refugee community living in Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. The Agency's services also contribute to theoverall stability in the region".
He appreciated the steps taken by the agency in enhancing transparency in its operations and adherence to the UN standards in humanitarian services. He further urged"utmost diligence" on the part of UNRWA to ensure that aid is not misused or misappropriated for wrongful purposes, including in the education sector.
"As a mark of its solidarity with the Palestinian refugees, India enhanced its annual contribution to the agency from USD 1.25 million to USD 5 million in 2018 and has contributed close to USD 30 million over the last five years. I am happy to announce that we will continue our contribution at thelevel of USD 5 million for the next two years. The first tranche of this year's contribution will be transmitted to UNRWA in the coming days," Ravi said.
He added,"India, over the years, has also continued to remain a committed development partner of Palestine, supporting its nation-building efforts. We are actively engaged in extending technical and developmental assistance to improve the lives of the Palestinian people. Our developmental support to the people of Palestine will continue".
The MEA Secretary (ER) further said that apart from UNRWA funding, India has extended various forms of developmental assistance to Palestine over the years.
This includes the India-Palestine Techno Park, Palestine's National Printing Press, Women an Empowerment Center - Turathi, the Palestinian Institute of Diplomacy, India-Palestine Super Speciality Hospital, and several schools in Palestine. Some of these projects are already operational while others are in different stages of completion, Ravi said.
"India has always emphasized that only a negotiated two-state solution, based on relevant UN resolutions, the Arab Peace Plan and the Quartet Roadmap, leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine, can deliver lasting peace," he added.
He further said that India, as a trusted development partner of Palestine, remains committed to developmental and humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine both bilaterally through the Palestinian Authority and by contributions to the UN. (ANI)