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Rep. of Korea: 3 trillion won in typhoon disaster funds agreed

República de Corea
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The government yesterday agreed to a 3-trillion-won ($2.6 billion) supplementary budget package to rebuild in the afternath of Typhoon Maemi. The storm ravaged the south of the country last week, killing 117 with 13 still missing.

The proposal is likely to proceed to the National Assembly early next month, according to Planning and Budget Minister Park Bong-heum, who said the money would be raised by issuing government bonds.

The money will be allocated to areas designated as =A1=B0special disaster zones.=A1=B1 The designations came yesterday, covering almost the entire nation except Seoul and Incheon. As of Sunday, total damage from the typhoon was estimated at 4.8 trillion won.

The government also decided to provide financial assistance to small- and medium-sized companies suffering from the typhoon=A1=AFs effects. It said it will import farm produce to stabilize national prices.

In addition, 500 billion won would immediately be distributed to assist those displaced from their homes and to repair private facilities.

The decisions came at a Blue House economic issues meeting headed by President Roh Moo-hyun.

Residents of special disaster zones are eligible for as much as 50 to 150 percent more in relief assistance than those in regular disaster zones.

People whose homes have been completely destroyed will receive 5 million won, while owners of farmland that suffered more than 80 percent damage will also receive around 5 million won. People whose homes were partially destroyed will receive 2.9 million won. Home or business owners whose property was flooded will receive 2 million won.

Separately, the government said it is studying a plan to recruit about 4,000 jobless youths as civil servants sometime next year, and send about 720 as volunteers overseas as a way to alleviate growing unemployment.

by Song Sang-hoon

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