Nearly $2 billion could be needed for housing after disaster

Ravi KarunananaykeFinance Minister Ravi Karunanayake termed as premature any forecast of the impact of the recent floods on the country’s economy, The Hindu newspaper reported.

Interacting with members of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association, Karunanayake, however, said that as per an initial estimate, $1.5 billion to $2 billion would be required for housing. Around 1.3 lakh houses were subjected to floods. “Many are redeemable but require attention as they were under water for seven days.”

Pointing out that 25,000 to 30,000 houses needed to be reconstructed, he said that small and medium enterprises, numbering 25,000 to 30,000, were also affected. A comprehensive assessment had been planned in this regard. Notably, the impact of the latest spell of natural disaster was “harder” on Colombo and other parts of the Western Province.

“More affluent people have also been affected,” he said, adding that consequently, this would have also a bearing on revenue to the government. [The Western Province approximately accounts for about 40 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product].

So far, 101 persons have died due to floods and landslides and the number of missing persons is 100. About 62,000 persons are still in relief camps. (Colombo Gazette)


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