Cuban government to finance half of reconstruction after Irma’s passage

The Cuban government announced it will finance 50 percent of the price of the construction materials for the victims of the total or partial destruction of their homes after the passage of Hurricane Irma, which a week ago devastated a large part of the island.

A news note broadcast by the state-run television indicated that the municipal Defense Councils – a local government entity equivalent to city councils – will be in charge of certifying the magnitude of the damages in each home and approving the resources assigned for these cases.

To cover the costs of the other half of the reconstruction, the victims will be able to request bank credits with low interests rates and longer payment installments, and in cases of the total collapse of homes and roofs, the State will assume the payment of the bank interests.

In the cases of persons with insufficient resources to assume the expenses, “the Defense Council will assess the approval of subsidies for the purchase of construction materials.”

It was also reported that subsidies will be “exceptionally” approved for the construction actions of the homes of “persons who were previously benefitted and to those that still have bank credits granted for this purpose.”

The Caribbean country’s minister of commerce, Mary Blanca Ortega, explained this Sunday in a meeting that the sale of construction materials to the victims will allow for four ways of payment, in cash, bonuses, bank credits and through the granting of a subsidy.

Just in Havana, the powerful hurricane damaged some 4,288 homes, of which 157 suffered total collapses and 986 partial ones, according to preliminary official reports.

The Cuban capital’s Defense Council specified that it has counted at least 818 destroyed roofs and damages in another 1,555.

Irma, which last week hit the island’s northern zone from east to west with strong gusts of more than 200 kilometers per hour, left 10 dead and multiple material damages that still have not been tallied.

For the recovery after the hurricane’s impact, the Cuban government has moved to the affected zones technical teams of workers from other parts of the country to reestablish basic services like power and telephony. It has also sent to other more damaged places Army brigades that are participating in tasks like clearing the streets of trees and rubble.

SPAIN BACKS CUBA’S RECOVERY WITH 200,000 EUROS

Spanish Ambassador to Cuba Juan José Buitrago speaks with EFE before a meeting held yesterday in Havana with the secretary general of the Cuban Red Cross, Luis Foyo. Photo: Alejandro Ernesto / EFE.
Spanish Ambassador to Cuba Juan José Buitrago speaks with EFE before a meeting held yesterday in Havana with the secretary general of the Cuban Red Cross, Luis Foyo. Photo: Alejandro Ernesto / EFE.

This Tuesday Spain made official a first contribution of 200,000 euros for emergency response materials through the Cuban Red Cross to contribute to the island’s recovery.

Spanish Ambassador to Cuba Juan José Buitrago and the general coordinator on the island of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), José Manuel Mariscal, met with the secretary general of the Cuban Red Cross, Luis Foyo, to find out about the immediate needs of that organization.

“It has been a hurricane that has had devastating effects on the economy, on the infrastructures and especially on the country’s people and Spain cannot be absent in that assistance and reconstruction effort the Cuban government is making,” the Spanish ambassador said to EFE.

He specified that the delivery of 200,000 euros in materials to the Cuban Red Cross through its Spanish counterpart “does not exclude that we study other mechanisms that further on can also come to aid the Cuban effort.”

After this aid, the sending of an additional 100,000 euros through the International Red Cross Federation is being analyzed.

“We are simply being interpreters of the solidarity the Spanish people feel for the Cuban people,” the diplomat added.

The Cuban Red Cross representation will be responsible for distributing the material donated by Spain in the zones most in need.

During a meeting with the island’s Red Cross officials, the ambassador took an interest in the most urgent needs to assist the population and underlined Spain’s will to accompany the effort of Cuban society, a solidarity “that comes from a blood line, because to a large extent we are family.”

Impregnated mosquito nets, plastic canvases, tools for reconstruction, water containers and kitchen and hygiene kits are some of the products that can make up the Spanish donation.

CHINA COLLABORATES WITH A MILLION DOLLARS

The government of the People’s Republic of China will donate a million dollars to Cuba to face the recovery, Cuba Plus Magazine reported.

As was confirmed by the Office of the Economic-Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, the Asian Giant will also send by air basic need materials like roofs, mattresses, blankets, water pumps, lights, among others.

In addition, in mid-October a ship loaded with Chinese rice will dock in the port of Mariel. All this to honor an ancestral friendship and political wavelength, confident that Cuba will achieve its recovery once again from the natural fury.

EFE /OnCuba

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