After meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos in New York, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loaned $350 million to Colombia to rebuild housing damaged by this year’s rainy season,reports a press release.
IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno said that $20 million will be dedicated to cleaning up from the landslides and floods that have affected Colombia and the remaining $330 million will be dedicated to rebuilding houses and infrastructure.
“This is not only temporary support by the bank,” said Alberto, “but on the contrary, I think this is going to be continuing for at least one or two years.”
Alberto also suggested that the country considers a disaster response system that is relevant to recent experience as it rebuilds its infrastructure.
In New York Santos also met with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Kim-moon this week. After the meeting Ban expressed his solidarity with Colombia in its difficulty with the rainy season.
On Monday, just before leaving New York Santos announced that the Santo Domingo Group, a Colombian group of companies, has committed to donating $5 million to the country’s relief efforts.
“The Santo Domingo Group is going to donate five million dollars for this tragedy, which I think is unprecedented, from the viewpoint of private sector contributions to tragedies of this nature,” said Santos. “Therefore, I greatly appreciate this effort and generosity of the Santo Domingo Group with the victims of these floods.”
Luis Carlos Sarmiento, president of The Aval Group, told W Radio that they have decided to donate $8 million to Colombia’s relief efforts as well.
Official reports say that 194 people have died from the rainy season and 1.6 million people are homeless. The official number is still climbing as relief efforts are underway in Bello where a landslide covered 35 houses, 30 people have been found dead and 94 people are still reported missing.
President Santos has left New York early to visit the landslide site in Bello.