San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Chinchilla Pledges Housing, Road Assistance

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla announced Friday that the central government will give priority to restoring roads and will work to expedite the construction of temporary homes for victims of this week’s devastating natural disasters.

Chinchilla said the National Institute for Housing and Urban Development (INVU) and the National Housing Mortgage Bank (BANHVI) are drawing up plans to ease the process for temporary housing.

The president said the country’s National Emergency Commission (CNE) has allocated ₡7 billion (nearly $13.6 million) for first response to the disaster. The money will be used largely to attend to victims in Escazú and in the Central Pacific, where the damage is greatest.  

Chinchilla also announced that Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly has approved ₡23 billion ($44.6 million) in funds for the country’s Extraordinary Circumstance Budget. The money will be used to create a special fund for the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) and to repair roads and assist with housing construction.  

The president urged other public institutions to pool any surplus funds they have and to channel them to disaster relief efforts.

On Thursday, Chinchilla said the country is studying the option of requesting aid from the Inter-American Development Bank and from the World Bank to assist with cleanup efforts.

CNE officials said it is still too early to determine the cost of the damage resulting from this week’s disasters.

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