India rejects UAE govt’s $100m flood disaster fund offer

"The initiative shown by the people of Kerala, other states and from Indian citizens from nearly all walks of life who have come together in the time of crisis to supplement the efforts of the government machinery maybe highlighted", the note says.

As donations pour in from across the country and world, the rehabilitation and relief operations for victims of Kerala floods is in full swing. Over 1,500 relief camps have been set up across the state that now house at least 2,23,139 people. The Centre should not deny others a chance to help Kerala, since its financial package is far below the amount requested, said state finance minister Thomas Issac. The donations are for the Kerala CM's Distress Relief Fund and can be made from the company app as well as website. "The refusal to accept foreign assistance is an act of vengeance", Balakrishnan said.

"GOI doesn't accept bilateral aid for relief".

"In line with the existing policy, the government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts", said a foreign ministry statement.

He said when a country faced a natural calamity, it was normal for other nations to offer aid, and recalled that India had helped Nepal and Bangladesh in such situations in the past and even made an offer to Pakistan when there was an quake in the neighbouring country.

These sections accuse the government at the Centre for keeping away foreign financial assistance for Kerala to ensure the state has no option but to rely on PM Modi's generosity to tide over the massive challenge it would face in the coming days.

The centre has taken the stand that accepting foreign aid will be a break from a policy that has been in place for the last 15 years.

Beginning with an aid offer of Rs 700 crore from the United Arab Emirates, there is rush for financial assistance from countries where Keralites are living in some numbers. "I hope they take a more positive attitude".

However, the Central Water Commission has since initiated the process for preparing inundation maps and completed them for at least 12 dams in Kerala, a chief engineer in the state said.

Condoleezza Rice, then the US Secretary of State, said at that time that contributions from poor countries were being accepted because "it is very valuable for people being able to give to each other and to be able to do so without a sense of means".

Besides the UAE, Qatar and Maldives had offered an assistance of Rs 35 crore and Rs 35 lakh respectively.

Even before Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's announcement, the UAE prime minister tweeted that his government and the Indian community will "unite" to offer relief and mentioned a "committee" to do this job. But, the Indian government has chose to refuse any help to deal with the post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation process.

  • Tracy Klein