No AID Policy – India over last one and a half decade has emerged a donor whenever natural disasters strike anywhere in the world, from impoverished Haiti to developed Japan.
In 2013 India made it clear to both the US and Japan, which offered $200,000 towards Uttarakhand relief, that it will not accept the aid and that any funding must be given to foundations.
“As a general policy in case of rescue and relief operations, we have followed the practice that we have adequate ability to respond to emergency requirements,” spokesperson of external affairs ministry Syed Akbaruddin had said in 2013.
The policy is entrenched in India’s increasing attempts to showcase its economic power to the world. As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — was the man who made shift in the country’s disaster aid policy when he rejected bilateral assistance after the 2004 tsunami.
“We feel that we can cope up with the situation on our own and we will take their help if needed,” Manmohan Singh had said after Tsunami in December 2004.
India handed over cheques for $25 million to Sri Lanka, $1 million to Indonesia and $500,000 to Thailand for relief and rehabilitation. It also airdropped food, medicines and blankets over Sri Lanka’s devastated coasts.
Just months earlier, India had accepted nominal bilateral aid after floods tore through Bihar’s plains.
When NDA was in power after the Bengal floods in 2002, the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, and the Latur temblor in 1993, India had accepted funds from foreign countries
After the 2005 Kashmir earthquake that led to deaths and damage both in India and Pakistan, New Delhi refused to accept aid but sent blankets, medicines and food to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. It also handed over a $25 million cheque to Pakistan.
India donated $5 million towards Haiti’s reconstruction after a powerful earthquake hit the tiny Caribbean country in 2010. As Japan grappled with the Fukushima earthquake and subsequent nuclear incident, India sent blankets and medicines to help victims.
Since the Modi government came to power India has also extended aid and grants for natural disasters in SE Asia and other nations.
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