The Colombian government issued six new decrees Thursday to help victims of 2010’s catastrophic rainy season, according to a press release on the presidential website.
Among the measures passed by the Council of Ministers are tax breaks, subsidies to cover the basic cost of utilities for flood victims, reforestation programs, the allocation of resources to rebuild and repair school and a program to promote agriculture insurance.
The Council of Ministers approved an income tax deduction of losses due to the 2010 rainy season, including the net worth of a property damaged by the flooding.
The government will offer subsidies to cover the cost of basic services such as electricity, natural gas, water and sewage for the estimated 320,000 families affected by the flooding.
Given that the lack of reforestation was a major cause of the flooding, the government will implement commercial reforestation programs.
The flexible use of funds will be permitted to repair and rebuild schools so that “no child will miss class.”
By promoting competitive agriculture insurance prices from domestic and foreign insurers, the government will encourage farmers to protect themselves against a a similar emergency in the future.
The last decree specifies the conditions for payment of emergency employment, to ensure that those in need are truly the ones benefitting from the aid program.
These measures will cost about $32.5 million.
President Santos has already sent $309 million for immediate relief to various departments effected by the flooding.
The rainy season was the largest and most devastating that Colombia has witnessed in recoded history. According to official numbers, there are more than 2.2 million victims of the torrential rains that affected most of the country last year.