Kerala floods have given rise to a controversy around India receiving aid from foreign countries. Does India receive aid from foreign countries? Does India also provide aid to foreign countries?
UAE’s purported announcement of aid to Kerala in the aftermath of the floods and the subsequent denial by UAE officials has stirred a hornet’s nest. In the mean while, Government of India has made it clear that it is committed to meeting the requirements for relief and rehabilitation through domestic efforts. It has however said that contributions to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund from NRIs, PIOs & other agencies would be welcome. Does India receive any foreign aid? What is the quantum of such aid compared to the aid provided by India to other nations?
India receives aid from various countries & agencies
India receives grants (aid) from various countries & agencies for specific projects. Between 2007-08 and 2015-16, India received an average of Rs 2575 crore annually in the form of foreign aid (grant) as per the data provided by the government in the Lok Sabha. During this period, India received the highest aid of Rs 3384 crore in the year 2013-14.
What is the purpose of these grants?
The foreign aid is usually provided for specific projects. For instance, more than Rs 6000 crore was received between 2011-12 & 2014-15 for various health related projects across India. The assistance received from various foreign sources is being utilized for specific projects including Immunization Programme, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Reproductive and Child Health-II Programme, Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, National Leprosy Eradication Programme, HIV/AIDS Control Programmes, and various projects for strengthening of health systems in the States. Similarly, multiple projects are funded by external agencies/countries in the drinking water & sanitation space. Even in the case of Gujarat earthquake in 2001, more than Rs 500 crore was received as external aid.
Who is providing foreign aid to India?
Various foreign governments & agencies have been extending aid to India. Between 2007-08 & 2015-16, the greatest amount of aid was provided by United Kingdom at Rs 11,362 crore followed by the Global Fund at Rs 8,226 crore. The European Union provided Rs 2249 crore during this period while the USA provides Rs 293 crore as aid. Among the other global agencies, the UNDP provided Rs 452 crore during this period while the IBRD provided Rs 390 crore.
Does India extend aid to other countries?
India does provide aid to other countries for varied purposes. The aid is extended under the aegis of Development Administration Partnership (DPA) under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). India provides aid to mostly its neighbours, east asian & african countries. Between 2006-07 & 2015-16, India provided an average of Rs 3930 crore as aid to foreign countries. India’s aid to foreign countries increased substantially from 2012-13.
The aid is provided for varied projects like housing, supply of equipment/vehicles, creation of infrastructure, educational fellowships etc. During this period, India provided aid to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Africa, Eurasia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Latin America & other developing countries. In effect, India is a net donor of foreign aid.