India refuses foreign aid for Kerala floods

A row has broken out between the State of Kerala and India’s federal government after New Delhi rejected offers of foreign aid, offered to speed recovery from the recent floods, which left 400 people dead and more than a million homeless.

The Financial Times said $100m in aid from the UAE was rejected, and Canada’s Global News reported that funding from Thailand, the Maldives and Qatar was also declined.

State officials are angry that the federal government has put national pride before the need to rebuild devastated communities.

Thomas Issac, Kerala’s finance minister, said on Twitter: "National Disaster Management Plan Chapter 9 on international cooperation accepts that in time severe calamity voluntary aid given by a foreign gov can be accepted. 

"Still if (the Indian government) chooses to adopt a negative stance towards offer made by UAE it should compensate Kerala."

Another tweet from Issac said funding from the national government fell short, and the gap could be bridged by UAE support.

The Times of India reported that $102m has been raised for the relief effort so far through public contributions, but the Financial Times estimates that $2.7bn will be needed to cover the repairs of state infrastructure.

Image: A man wades through flood water to his marooned house on August 22, 2018 in the outskirts of Alappuzha, India (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times/Getty Images)

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