Reaffirming its firm support to the Palestinian cause, India has donated $1 million to UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide daily supplement of food to thousands of Palestinian children in camps in Gaza Strip.
Minister of State for external affairs and human resources development E Ahamed handed over a cheque of $1 million to UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi here last evening. Ahamed told Grandi that the cheque is India's annual contribution for the year 2011-12 to be utilised for "providing daily supplement of food assistance to more than 76,000 students attending UNRWA schools in Gaza for 50 school days under the agency's Emergency Programme in Gaza strip".
The Indian minister assured the UNRWA official of New Delhi's continued support in its operations and in its efforts to alleviate the sufferings of Palestinian refugees. UNRWA is the main provider of basic services, education, health, relief and social services, to five million registered Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.
India has been contributing annually to the UN welfare agency's budget and since 2009-10 enhanced its annual contribution to $1 million. It also made a special contribution of $1 million in response to a flash appeal by UNRWA in 2010 to keep its operations alive in the aftermath of massive destruction following the Gaza war.
Ahamed, who is here on a two-day visit to the Palestinian territories, will also participate in the inauguration of the India-Brazil-South Africa Multipurpose Sports Centre that was constructed in Ramallah with the funding of IBSA Forum.