Lao gov’t approves special budget for flood recovery

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Photo shows a damaged house after an under-construction dam collapsed in Sanamxay District, Attapeu Province, Laos on July 27, 2018. Xinhua

VIENTIANE (Xinhua) – Lao government has approved a special budget of 500 billion kip (US$58.7 million) to repair public infrastructure that was damaged in last year’s floods, local daily Vientiane Times reported yesterday.

Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment unveiled the approved budget at the annual conference of the finance-planning sector held in capital Vientiane on Tuesday. The meeting served as a platform to inform planning and finance officials about the details of the budget for 2019.

“The budget for flood recovery work is now ready and we hope that repairs to the remaining damaged public infrastructure nationwide will begin soon,” said an official involved in drawing up the 2019 socio-economic development plan.

Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will be the key agencies to execute this special budget, adding that many roads and irrigation systems were damaged in the floods last year, the official reported.

Widespread flooding caused serious damage to roads, bridges and other structures in many provinces in Laos in 2018. According to an assessment presented at a meeting with development partners in November 2018, the cost of the damage was about US$147 million.

In addition, the long term effect of the damage on productivity will bring the figure to more than US$500 million. Many people around the country are complaining about the poor condition of major main roads and urging the government to address the problem immediately, said the reported.

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