- Indian government reportedly rejected foreign aid for the victims of the recent flood disaster in the country
- The government said it appreciated the gestures but it will tackle the crisis on its own
- It instructed all Indian diplomats approached by foreign governments to politely reject any aid offered to them
The Indian government is reportedly poised to reject offers of millions of pounds in foreign aid for the flooding crisis in the southern state of Kerala, instead of relying on its own ability to tackle the enormous clean-up operation.
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands left homeless after the floods hit Kerala a state on India's tropical Malabar Coast.
At least 324 people have reportedly died and more than 223,000 people have been rendered homeless and placed in relief camps.
In the wake of the disaster, the UAE, Qatar and the Maldives reportedly came forward with offers of financial aid amounting to nearly £82m.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted to thank the UAE’s prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose offer made up the bulk of the total.
He wrote: “A big thanks to @hhshkmohd for his gracious offer to support people of Kerala during this difficult time. His concern reflects the special ties between governments and people of India and UAE.”
The Independent UK, however, reported that India will follow the precedent set in December 2004 when the then-prime minister Manmohan Singh refused international aid for the victims of a huge tsunami that killed more than 12,000 people.
“We feel that we can cope with the situation on our own,” Singh said at the time.
In the last 14 years, India has politely refused aid from the likes of the US, Russia and Japan following an earthquake in Kashmir in 2005 and floods in 2013 and 2014.
In response to queries regarding media reports on international assistance for flood relief measures, an official government spokesperson reportedly said: "The Government of India deeply appreciates offers from several countries, including from foreign governments, to assist in relief and rehabilitation efforts after the tragic floods.
“In line with the existing policy, the Government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts. Contributions to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the Chief Minister's Relief Fund from NRIs, PIOs and international entities such as foundations would, however, be welcome.”
The newspaper further reports that a document has been circulated among those coordinating the recovery effort in Kerala advising them to direct all offers of foreign aid to the central government.
“You may politely convey to your interlocutors that in the present circumstances, the government of India has taken a considered decision to rely solely on domestic efforts to tide over the challenge,” the document states.
Any Indian diplomats approached by foreign governments should “express gratitude… for their sentiments and offer, but [foreign officials] are to be politely told that the government has no requirement as of now [for aid]”, a senior official reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Israel pledged to continue to show support to Nigeria and strengthen its bilateral relationship with Nigeria.
Guy Feldman, Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, made this known in an interview during the Israeli National Day celebration at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Thursday, May 19.
The envoy who spoke on the existing relations between Nigeria and Israel, called for more collaboration in agriculture with better irrigation techniques.
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