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Natural disaster: When India accepted foreign financial assistance and when it did not

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, Aug 23: The Centre has politely refused, but Kerala insists that foreign financial assistance must be accepted. The contention arose after the United Arab Emirates offered Rs 700 crore as financial assistance for the rehabilitation of flood hit Kerala.

    Flood affected areas of Chengannur seen from a Indian Navy helicopter, at Alappuzha district of the Kerala

    The policy of not accepting foreign financial assistance changed after 2004, when it was decided that the funds to rehabilitate the tsunami victims would be raised domestically.

    Also Read | Kerala: It has been a policy since Dec 2004 to refuse foreign aid during disasters

    Chapter 9 of the National Disaster Management Plan published in 2016 says, if the government of a foreign nation willingly offers help, the Centre may accept the offer. As a matter of policy, the Government of India does not issue any appeal for foreign assistance in the wake of a disaster. However if the government of another country voluntarily offers assistance as a goodwill gesture in solidarity with the disaster victims, the Central Government may accept the offer.

    Also Read | Kerala floods: Foreign assistance, policy of uniformity vs chapter 9 of NDMP

    The fact however is that prior to 2004, foreign financial assistance was accepted and prior to 2004, it was not. Let us take a look at the times India accepted foreign assistance in the case of a calamity/disaster and when it did not.

    When India accepted foreign assistance
    Latur Earthquake (1993)
    Uttarkashi earthquake(1991)
    Bengal Cyclone (2002)
    Gujarat earthquake(2001)
    Bihar floods (2004)
     
    When India did not accept foreign assistance
    Tsunami (2004)
    Uttarakhand floods (2013)
    Kashmir earthquake (2005)
    Kashmir floods (2014)

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