Earthquake Zone Restoration Program Submitted to Parliament’s Approval

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The comprehensive program on restoration of the earthquake zone was submitted to the parliament’s approval on July 24th. Armenian Minister of Town-Planing David Lokian said that the program provides for solving the housing–health–cultural and educational problems in the disaster area by 2003. "The general view of the disaster area–which reminds the 1998 earthquake–must not be retained," the minister said.

The program costs a total of 80 billion Armenian Drams–from which 24 billion Drams will be spent on water-supply–sewage and heat-supply–45 billion Drams on housing. According to Lokian–the housing problems are expected to be solved in the middle of 2003 (there are about 10,945 homeless families in the disaster area).

The minister also pointed out that the government has secured the financial resources: "It remains only to direct these resources to their goals–specifing and without dissipation," he said. Lokian believes that about 945 families will receive assistance from the government to solve their housing problems. " The program also provides for assisting the families living in temporary houses–towards whom the government has no obligations. The program pledged to provide these families with rents for 2-year period," the minister said.

The program is to be implemented by the Social Investmen’s Fund and the Hayastan Fund–which will also provide solutions concerning the problems of Armenia’s educational system.

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