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Philippines government considers huge cost of rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan

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Philippines government considers huge cost of rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan


The Philippines’ government says the cost of reconstruction following Typhoon Haiyan may be over four billion euros.

Arsenio Balisacan, economic planning secretary, estimated that the cost of rebuilding houses, schools, roads and bridges in the typhoon-devastated centre of the country made it likely that the government would seek cheap loans from development agencies.

“I would not be surprised if it (the cost) can go as high as 250 billion (Philippine pesos) (4.24 billion euros),” he said.

He added that the country’s economic fundamentals remained intact, and estimated that if the government was successful in deploying resources for reconstruction, the economy might grow even faster.

So far, countries and organisations have pledged a total of 10.6 billion pesos (180 million euros) – a fraction of what will be needed in the long term.

In Eastern Samar province, one of the worst affected areas, some isolated communities are yet to receive significant aid despite a massive international relief effort.

Some people in Tacloban are building their own makeshift accommodation, while some 300 families have taken shelter in a convention centre.

Information provided by survivors has enabled lists to be drawn up of those who are still unaccounted for.

The official number of dead stands at around 4,000, with more than 1,000 missing.

But the UN said information about several areas remained “limited”, while the World Food Programme said although it had reached 1.9 million people, “many more” had been affected by the storm.

The British ambassador, Asif Ahmad, said relief operations could last months or longer, because livelihoods as well as homes had to be rebuilt.

“How long would it take to grow a coconut tree?” he asked.

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