India has given USD 72.1 million to Palestine in a bid to aid developing projects through capacity building and budgetary support, the Lok Sabha was told Wednesday.
Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry VK Singh told the Lower House that the major projects being undertaken at present in Palestine include setting up of the Institute of Diplomacy, India-Palestine technology park, hospital, women empowerment center, printing press and schools.
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"We have also extended a budgetary support of USD 30 million. India has also been contributing annually to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The contribution has been enhanced from USD 1.25 million to USD 5 million per annum from 2018," Singh said in a written response.
India has extended project assistance to Palestine to the the tune of nearly USD 72.1 million, which includes the USD 42.1 million announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stand-alone visit in February last year.
"We continue to maintain our relationship with Palestine through regular high-level exchanges to convey our steadfast political support to the Palestinian cause. We are also extending financial support for Palestinian nation-building through capacity building, project assistance and budgetary support," he said.
In September 2017, India had supported Palestine's bid of membership to the Interpol.
"We supported the resolution on the 'Status of Jerusalem' in the UN General Assembly on December 21, 2017. Recently, India voted in favour of a resolution on 'Protection of the Palestinian civilian Population' in the UNGA on June 13, 2018 as well as on the resolution on 'Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian territory'," he said.
The high-level meetings helped diversify the bilateral engagement with Palestine into several areas that include education, health, sports, agriculture, information and communication technology, youth affairs and security, the minister of state added.
To a question whether there is any proposal to send a delegation to Palestine in the coming months, Singh replied "no".
Replying to a separate question on the UK's announcement on immigration rules, Singh said the UK High Commission in New Delhi, in its note verbale dated July 9 to the MEA, stated that Indian students would face no difference in procedures compared to the previous years.