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PRELIMS FACTS 28-06-2018

FACT # 1

Global Environment Facility


Why in news? India has increased its grant to Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) new four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7 from $12 million to $15 million.

Global Environment Facility:

  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.
  • The GEF unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
  • Since 1992, the GEF has provided over $17 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $88 billion in financing for more than 4000 projects in 170 countries.
  • It is an independently operating financial organization.
  • It provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forest management, food security, sustainable cities.
  • The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following conventions:
    • CBD Convention on Biological Diversity
    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    • UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
    • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
    • Minamata Convention on Mercury
  • The GEF also supports implementation of the Protocol in countries with economies in transition.


FACT # 2

United Nations Relief And Works Agency For Palestinian Refugees


Why in news? India has pledged $5 million for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in the Near East.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees:

  • It was created in December 1949.
  • It is a relief and human development agency which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, and their descendants, who fled or were expelledfrom their homes during the 1948 Palestine war.
  • It also supports those who fled or were expelledduring 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 servicesto the population it supports.
  • Aid is provided in five areas of operation:
    • Jordan
    • Lebanon
    • Syria
    • the Gaza Strip
    • West Bank including East Jerusalem
  • Aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas is provided by UNHCR.[5]
  • It also provided relief to Jewish and Arab Palestine refugees inside the state of Israel following the 1948 conflict until the Israeli government took over responsibility for Jewish refugees in 1952.
  • In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2017.
  • 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.
  • UNRWA is the largest agency of the United Nations, employing over 30,000 staff, 99% of which are locally recruited Palestinians.
  • UNRWA’s headquarters are divided between the Gaza Strip and Amman.

FACT # 3

Skoch Awards 


Why in news? The Ministry of Shipping’s flagship programme for port-led-prosperity ‘Sagarmala’ has received the ‘Gold Award’ in infrastructure sector in the recently concluded 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 in New Delhi.


Skoch Awards:

  • The Skoch Awards recognize leadership and excellence in accelerating socio-economic changes.
  • These awards have become a benchmark of best practices in India in the fields of governance, infrastructure, finance, banking, technology, corporate citizenship, economics and inclusive growth.
  • ‘Sagarmala’ has won the 2018 Skoch award due to its contribution to India’s socio-economic transformation and its role in propelling fast-track growth and infrastructure development.
  • The Sagarmala Programme also received the ‘Order of Merit’at the Summit.



  • Sagarmalais the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping for port-led-development of the country through harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location of India on key international maritime trade route.
  • The Sagarmala Programme hinges on four pillars, namely;
    • Port Modernization
    • Port Connectivity
    • Port-linked Industrialization
    • Coastal Community Development
  • The programme aims to double the share of domestic waterways (inland & coastal) in the modal mix and generate logistic cost savings of Rs. 35,000-40,000 Cr per annum.
  • It aims to boost merchandize exports by USD 110 Billion and enable creation of 1 Crore new jobs, including 40 Lac direct jobs, in the next 10 years.
  • Under Sagarmala programme, more than 576 projects have been identified for implementation over 20 years.
  • Development would be done across areas of port modernization and new port development, enhancing connectivity of ports, industrialization linked to ports and coastal community development.


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