Center refuses to accept foreign donations for flood relief in Kerala

India today made it clear that under its current policy, it will not accept financial assistance from foreign governments for flood-affected Kerala. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ravish Kumar said that the government is committed to fulfilling the needs of relief and rehabilitation in Kerala through domestic efforts. Several countries have announced help for flood relief operations in Kerala. While the UAE has offered 700 crores to Kerala, Qatar has announced Rs 35 crores and the Maldives has announced financial assistance of Rs 35 lakh.

However, Kumar said that the donations sent to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the Chief Minister Relief Fund by international organizations such as non-resident Indians and foundations are welcome. The Kerala government is keen to accept donations from the UAE. Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan today said that if any obstacle in getting flood relief assistance from the UAE, the state government will contact Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove it.

Kumar said that the Indian government appreciates other countries for offering help to flood-affected people in Kerala. He said that under the current policy the government is committed to meet the needs of the relief and redevelopment through domestic efforts. Sources said that India has already given its verdict that it will not accept the proposal of various countries to give Kerala support.

Thailand ambassador to India CS Gongsakadi tweeted that the Indian government has told his country that he will not accept donations from foreign countries for flood relief assistance in Kerala. Official sources said that India is conveying to foreign governments that it is making extensive assessments of flood damage in Kerala and she is able to meet the needs of the state on its own.

The Thai ambassador tweeted that with regret, I am conveying that the Indian government is not accepting foreign donations for flood relief in Kerala. We are standing with the people of India. Sources said there is no restriction on acceptance of private donations from foreigners and private donors.

The UAE has offered assistance of Rs. 700 crore to its relations with Kerala. According to official figures, nearly three million Indians live in the UAE and work there, 80 percent of them are from Kerala. In the floods in Kerala, 231 people have been killed and more than 14 lakh people have been homeless.