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Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs, Minister of Local Administration Omar Ghalawanji said that SYP 1 billion has been allocated to the building committee established in September 23rd to compensate for the damages caused to uninsured private properties affected by terrorism in 2012.

During the first meeting of the committee on Sunday, Ghalawanji, who chaired the committee, said that half of the money will come from the budget of the Local Administration Ministry and the other half from the state general budget, adding that SYP 30 billion has been allocated to the committee and will become available to it by the start of 2013.

Ghalawanji reviewed the committee task which include setting basis and criteria for compensating damages, taking necessary steps for rehabilitating damaged infrastructure and utilities, and providing humanitarian relief to affected citizens.

He pointed out that his Ministry requested sub committees in provinces to finish documenting actual damage to private properties and put the data in charts within a week, adding that the issues of raising the values and the cap of compensations and finding mechanisms for compensating owners of vehicles damaged by terrorism are being discussed.

Ghalawanji called for presenting accurate reports on repairs that have been completed and their costs, noting that no repairs should be made in hotspots or unsafe areas until they are fully cleared of terrorists.

Regarding humanitarian relief, Ghalawanji underlined the efforts made by his Ministry in cooperation with international organizations such as the UNHCR, WFP, UNDP and UNICEF.

During the meeting, it was decided that damages estimated anywhere between SYP 30,000 and 250,000 receive 40% compensation, while damages estimated between 250,000 and 350,000 will be compensated with 100,000, with damages over 300,000 receiving a 30% compensation of no less than 100,000 and no more than 1.5 million.

Damages estimates at over 1.5 million will be presented to the Prime Ministry, and an advance payment of 50%  of the estimated damages will be given to affected citizens.

Governors are also authorized to allocate extra funds from the sums other than the funds from the allocated budget of this project when needed, given that the extra funds don’t exceed 20% of the value of the funds allocated to them.

The committee also discussed requests from the ministries of interior, electricity, health, education and national reconciliation on the committee’s work in rehabilitating infrastructure and utilities.

H. Sabbagh – SANA – 15/10/2012

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