The Maldives will increase its annual contribution to Palestine to US$50,000 this year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer said during the launch of the ‘Maldivians with Palestine’ telethon aiming to provide aid to Palestine.

The Maldives had previously contributed US$5,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) which was established in 1948 by a UN resolution.

The Minister said that President Mohamed Muizzu had decided to increase the Maldives’ aid 10-fold this year in response to the inhuman attacks by Israel.

Meanwhile, Muizzu, speaking at the launch of the telethon, said that the nation was taking its solidarity with Palestine to a higher level, highlighting that Maldivians had identified with the Palestinian cause since the beginning.

Many who had previously been silent were now speaking out in solidarity with Palestine, the President said.

“We should not turn a blind eye to this issue between Palestine and Israel. We should see this as the responsibility of every Muslim. We should do everything we can for the Palestinian people,” Muizzu said.

“The Maldives has been donating US$5,000 a year. But due to the Israeli attacks since 7 October, the Maldives has decided to donate US$50,000 in aid this year. That’s 10 times more than the current amount,” Zameer said.

The Minister said the funds would be handed over through the Ministry of Finance and the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An independent auditor, Crowe Maldives LLB, has been appointed to oversee the donation, he said.

The proceeds of the telethon will go towards the benefit of Palestine and the process will be handled transparently through the dedicated UN agency, Zameer said.

The Minister said UNRWA would deploy the funds in accordance with international standards and that funds were audited annually by the UN.

A cabinet meeting on 2 July had adopted important policies to aid Palestine, he said, explaining that the Maldives’ policy towards Palestine, calls for the unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all territories occupied since 1967 and the possibility of self-determination for the Palestinian people. The Foreign Minister also condemned Israel’s relentless violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and appealed for the recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, in line with UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

The Minister said that the Maldives had co-sponsored the resolution submitted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on behalf of the Arab Group to recognise the Palestinian state as a full member of the United Nations. The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 May, with the Maldives among the first countries to co-sponsor the draft resolution, he said, adding that the Maldives supports and welcomes the UN Security Council resolution adopted on to end the war.