Human Rights Issues

India pledges to contribute $ 5 million to UN Palestine refugee agency


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : UNRWA

Mains level : Refugees issue across the world

India contributes for Palestine

  • India has pledged to contribute USD 5 million in 2019 to the UN Palestine refugee agency.
  • India voiced concern over the agency’s difficult financial situation due to voluntary contributions from a limited donor base and called for ensuring sustained fiscal support for its work.
  • This contribution is a mark of India’s solidarity with the Palestine refugees.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees

  • Created in December 1949, the UNRWA for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees.
  • These along with their patrilineal descendants were fled or expelled from their homes during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War as well as those who fled or were expelled during and following the 1967 Six Day war.
  • Originally intended to provide jobs on public works projects and direct relief, today UNRWA provides education, health care, and social services to the population it supports.
  • Aid is provided in five areas of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas is provided by UNHCR.
  • The Agency currently serves 5.4 million Palestinian refugees 20 per cent of the world’s refugees.

How is UNRWA different from UNHCR?

  • UNRWA is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR.
  • Formed in 1950, UNHCR is the main UN refugee agency, which is responsible for aiding other refugees all over the world.
  • Unlike UNRWA, UNHCR has a specific mandate to aid its refugees to eliminate their refugee status by local integration in current country, resettlement in a third country or repatriation when possible.
  • UNRWA allows refugee status to be inherited by descendants of male refugee, including legally adopted children.
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