14 Dec 2009

Samoa government allocates US$32 million for tsunami works

4:19 pm on 14 December 2009

The Samoa government has issued a supplementary budget for an additional 32 million US dollars for reconstruction following the tsunami in late September.

According to the Minister of Finance, Niko Lee Hang, the funds come from grants and concessional borrowing.

He says the tsunami and its devastating impact could not have come at a worse time, with the economy already under stress from the global financial crisis.

The Minister told Parliament the supplementary budget is for those affected by the disaster and is intended to clear all the emergency relief expenses and reconstruction costs.

Top of this list is the 16.4 million US dollars for the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, to cover the rebuilding of homes as well as the construction of new roads to allow access for families moving away from the coast.

It will also be used to restore the fresh water supply and electricity.

Mr Lee Hang also says financial assistance of 2.4 million US dollars from Australia and New Zealand will pay the school fees next year for all children at primary school level in both government and mission schools.