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India pledges 1.25 million USD to UN relief agency for Palestinian Refugees, due to their vulnerable condition and ongoing conflicts in Middle East

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New Delhi, Dec 7, 2016: As India stated its concern for the Palestinian refugees today, it pledged 1.25 million USD to the UN relief agency for the Palestinian refugees for the vulnerable condition and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East which is resulting in the rise in refugees.

According to PTI, a total of 20 contributors aired their donations or their intentions to do the same to the 2017 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East. India pledged an annual contribution of 1.25 million to the agency.

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Mahesh Kumar, the First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said that regrettably a harmonious solution to the Palestine issue has not been figured out yet and in turn, the expectations of the refugees to live a normal life is not achieved.

He also said that “The current fragile situation and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East region have compounded the problem of refugees,” mentioned PTI.

Kumar also stated that while providing the much-needed assistance to Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA is facing unpredicted financial and operational challenges.

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The UNRWA has been supplying health, education, relief and social services and emergency assistance to around 5.3 million Palestinian refugees across its five areas of operations, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza strip for the past 65 years.

In September, UNRWA reported a void in the funding of USD 74 million, which is jeopardising its ability to finance vital operations at the end of 2016 and after an emergency cry, the UN member nations contributed which reduced the funding gap to USD 37 million.

-prepared by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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As Refugees Flee DR Congo, UN Steps Up to Reduce The Risk of Ebola

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area.

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Ebola Congo, WHO
A Congolese health worker checks the temperature of a man before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus near Mangina village, near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

The U.N. refugee agency reports it is stepping up efforts to reduce the risk of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus as refugees flee DR Congo. Latest estimates put the number of confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in eastern DRC at 49, including 38 deaths.

The U.N. refugee agency is working closely with DRC authorities and other agencies on actions to contain Ebola on the national and regional level. But, its main focus is to monitor possible Ebola infections among refugees fleeing across the border, mainly to Uganda, from conflict ridden North Kivu and Ituri.

UNHCR spokesman, William Spindler says the number of newly arriving refugees into Uganda from these two Ebola affected provinces increased during July from 170 a day to 250 a day. He says the majority currently is crossing at the Kisoro border point.

A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo, June 1, 2018. For the first time since the Ebola virus was identified more than 40 years ago, a vaccine has been dispatched to front line health workers.
A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo,
VOA

“So UNHCR is working with WHO, UNICEF and other partners and with the Ministry of Health of Uganda to intensify screening for Ebola at all border entry points. And, additional health workers have been deployed in the border districts to improve response capacity,” he said.

Spindler notes the World Health Organization is not recommending any restriction on the movement of people. Therefore, he says UNHCR is urging countries neighboring DRC to allow refugees in need of protection to enter their territory and to include them into preparedness and response plans and activities.

Also Read: United Nations Security Council to Closse 13-year-old Haiti Peacekeeping Mission in October

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area. Therefore, it urges governments and local communities not to adopt measures that single out refugees. Those measures may not be scientifically sound and will only serve to stigmatize and restrict refugees’ freedom of movement. (VOA)