Rebuilding Kerala: As India declines foreign aid to deal with flood aftermath, here’s how UAE, others can still help victims

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that his government will initiate a high-level discussion with the central government to enable the transfer of financial aid from foreign countries, including the UAE that offered Rs 700 crore to the flood-devastated southern state. On Wednesday, India politely declined to accept the financial aid from UAE for Kerala where more than 350 people died so far due to flood. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that He also said that the government will stick to its long-standing policy of not accepting monetary help from foreign countries. The MEA spokesperson, however, said that The UPA-II government too had reiterated the same after the 2013 cloudburst in Uttarakhand in which over 5,700 people died. The UAE is home to around 28 lakh expatriate Indians. Around 90 per cent of them hail from Kerala. The country has offered a financial assistance of Rs 700 crore to the state. Several other countries like Qatar, Maldives and Thailand have also offered a financial help to Kerala. The government has also written a note to the Indian missions across the world directing its envoys to politely decline the financial help from foreign countries. According to an official release, a total of Rs 318 crore has been collected for the CMs Distress Relief Fund. Of this, around Rs 146 crore has come from various states. Several states have also contributed food grains to Kerala. the Centre has so far allocated Rs 600 crore relief fund to the state.