India Contributes US$ 1.25 Million to UNRWA, Increasing Support to Agency’s Core Programmes

12 December 2016

The Government of India has contributed US$ 1.25 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the Agency’s core programmes and services, including education, health care, and relief and social services. The contribution, which represents a 25 per cent increase in India’s annual contributions to the Agency, was presented to UNRWA by HE M.J. Akbar, the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, during his recent official visit to Palestine.

The contribution follows the recent mission by UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl to India at the end of August.

“I would like to express my profound appreciation and gratitude to the people and government of India for this generous contribution. It will enable UNRWA to deliver vital services to Palestine refugees and support their human development,” said the Commissioner-General. “We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with India and working together on improving the lives and living conditions of Palestine refugees.”

During his visit to India, the Commissioner-General met with Minister Akbar and other senior officials of the government to discuss the situation of Palestine refugees and the humanitarian and development work of UNRWA, to underline the importance of India's political and institutional support to Palestine refugees and UNRWA, and to look for new forms of partnership with India. The Minister conveyed his deep appreciation for the commendable work being done by UNRWA and assured the Commissioner-General of India's steadfast support for the Agency's activities in the region.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA Programme Budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s Programme Budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.