San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Victims Still Await Disaster Relief

SOME victims of past natural disastersin Costa Rica have waited as long as17 years for relief promised by authoritiesafter hurricanes, floods and earthquakes,according to a recent report in the dailyLa Nación.The incomplete checklist of promisedhelp includes: rebuilding and relocation ofhouses in Ciudad Cortés, destroyed inhurricane Juana in 1998; repair of homesdamaged in the Limón earthquake of1991; repair of bridges damaged in hurricaneMitch in 1998; and distribution offunds promised to some farmers aftermajor floods.The report found the Housing Ministryhas little data on the promised houses.It lacks a sistematic registry, makingresponding to promises of previous administrationsdifficult, ministry officials said.Furthermore, officials told La Nación,promises are often made to people fornew houses, when the affected don’t evenpossess property titles, making fulfillingthe promises impossible.

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