In the aftermath of Kerala floods, the debate over whether India should accept foreign aid has sparked off divergent views among the public. However, the Rs 700 crore generous aid by the UAE is neither official nor has it announced yet, if reports are to be believed.
According to The Indian Express, UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna said that there has been no official announcement so far by the UAE on any specific amount as financial aid.
"The assessment of relief needed for the flood and aftermath is ongoing. Announcing any specific amount as financial aid, I don't think it is final, since it is still ongoing," Albanna told the daily.
When the newspaper asked if he meant that the UAE had not announced Rs 700 crore in aid, he said: "Yes, that is correct. It is not yet final. It has not been announced."
"All that has happened is that UAE's Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has formed a national emergency committee. The main goal was to look into sourcing out funds, aid material, medicines and other things for our friendly people and friends in Kerala, who have been hit by the unfortunate flood," he said.
Earlier this week, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the UAE has offered assistance of Rs 700 crore ($100 million) to aid relief efforts in the state ravaged by worst monsoon rains in close to a century.
Vijayan had informed the media about the UAE's aid and thanked them for their 'timely' help. "Today morning, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, informed our Prime Minister about their contribution for Kerala and this was conveyed to me by M.A. Yusuf Ali (who owns Lulu Supermarkets)," he had said.
"We also express the gratitude of Kerala to HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and the Emir of Abu Dhabi, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and Emir of Dubai," Vijayan had tweeted.