Kerala Floods: Rs 700 Cr Aid Was Not Announced or Promised, says UAE

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Kerala: Intensity of Rain Reduces, Red Alert Continues

UAE has clarified that there has been no official announcement so far by the UAE on any specific amount as financial aid.

New Delhi: Even as eyebrows were raised at the huge amount of Rs 700 crore promised by UAE for Kerala flood relief works, the Gulf country has clarified that that there has been no official announcement so far by the UAE on any specific amount as financial aid.

The amount had also led to a political battle of words between the Left that runs Kerala and the BJP at the Centre.

UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albanna told The Indian Express Thursday “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.”

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.”

It was Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who had said that Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, made the Rs 700-crore assistance offer when he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone.

How Pinarayi overheard a conversation between Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Modi is a mystery.

Ambassador Albanna said: “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.”

“The committee is coordinating with the federal authorities, since we know and understand the financial aid rules in India. And, it is also coordinating with the local authorities for immediate aid in terms of relief and food material,” he said. “We are working through the organisations like Red Crescent in UAE, and organisations in the state of Kerala as well as others based in India.”