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India too proud to accept $100m in UAE aid, people die in Kerala

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Staff Writer | August 23, 2018
India rejected an offer by the United Arab Emirates government to give $100 million to a special fund for Kerala state after its floods which killed more than 400 people.
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Asia   India has a record of refusing foreign aid
The move came despite calls to accept the Gulf state's largesse by Kerala's chief minister who has pleaded for more aid than India's government has so far committed to.

"In line with the existing policy, the government is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts," the foreign ministry said in a statement explaining the move.

The ministry added that foreign money could only be donated through Indian-origin individuals or foundations.

India has a record of refusing foreign aid after disasters, turning down foreign help after the 2004 tsunami.

Kerala state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan called for "high level" talks with the national government so the UAE money could be accepted.

The UAE offer is more than the $97 million so far promised by India's central government. Vijayan has asked for a $375 million package from the government, saying the state must confront more than $3 billion in devastation.

The monsoon floods have left more than 420 dead since June with some 1.34 million people now in over 3300 relief camps across the state.