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India receives $465 million tsunami aid from World Bank

Thursday 5 May 2005

Special Correspondent

Funding for project to help repair or reconstruct 1.40-lakh houses

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday received $ 465 million as IDA credit from the World Bank for reconstruction and recovery efforts in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. These are the two regions severely affected by the tsunami on December 26, 2004.

This aid tranche, according to a World Bank statement here, is part of the multilateral agency’s total support of $ 528.5 million for tsunami recovery operations in the country. The `Emergency tsunami reconstruction project’ is expected to help repair or reconstruct about 1.40 lakh damaged houses in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. It is also to support the reconstruction of public buildings, the revival of livelihoods in fisheries and agriculture, as well as help in capacity-building in housing reconstruction and coastal management. The project also takes into account the Government’s commitment not to "rebuild vulnerabilities." The tsunami caused extensive damage in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the mainland coastline of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Of the estimated 2.7 million people affected, about 80 per cent were engaged in fisheries, 15 per cent in agriculture and five per cent in small and micro-enterprises. Those who were poor were the worst-hit and accentuated the vulnerability of coastal communities.

The World Bank is working with the Government and other development partners to put in place mechanisms to look at all aspects of development.

The emergency project has five components. The housing segment will finance the provision of transit shelter and upgrading services in temporary shelter sites; the repair and reconstruction of existing houses; the construction of new houses; and the necessary related services and community infrastructure.

A second segment will fund activities to help rebuild the livelihoods of the affected families by restoring damaged fisheries infrastructure, agricultural and horticultural lands, and the repair of the general infrastructure.

Another segment pertaining to `Public buildings and public works’ is to help finance small public works such as repair, reconstruction, and upgrading damaged hospitals, public health centres and sub-centres, educational institutions, cyclone shelters, and other public buildings. This also provides support to the restoration of damaged river and drain banks, and replanting of mangrove and shelterbelts in Tamil Nadu.

The other two components are technical assistance and support in implementation.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $ 682.8 million, including contingencies.

Of this, IDA funding of $ 465 million, or about 68 per cent of the total, is proposed.

The standard IDA terms, including a service fee of 0.75 per cent and a maturity period of 35 years will apply.

The balance amount is to be provided by the Centre, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

The World Bank will also contribute an additional $ 63.5 million to the financing of tsunami disaster recovery activities.

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