Bangladesh seeks bln dollar for rebuliding

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Dhaka, Dec 3 (UNI) Military-backed caretaker government in Bangladesh today placed a rough estimate of fund requirements amounting to one billion dollars for rebuilding the cyclone-devastated infrastructures and livelihoods.

The estimates include 250 million dollar for rebuilding a network of coastal embankments, 150 million dollar for forestation progarmme, 200 million dollar for constructing 2,000 new cyclone shelters, 300 million dollar for repairing roads and bridges and 100 million dollars for rebuilding schools.

Caretaker government Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed, who presented the rough estimate, urged the international community to take long-term approach in helping the country confront the challenges of natural disasters that continue to grow in severity under the impact of climate change.

Dr Ahmed made the call at a meeting with foreign diplomats, donors and UN organisations at his office, as the country is now engrossed in rebuilding cyclone-devastated coastal localities.

''We believe that the time has come for us to take a long-term view of Bangladesh's frequent trysts with the nature's whim,'' he said.

Dr Ahmed said after two consecutive floods during the monsoon and then cyclone 'Sidr, ''we need a reawakening and new resolve to shape our destiny''.

He said the nation can no longer afford to merely respond to a crisis, count on relief and rehabilitation and wait for the next blow to come.

''We must be ambitious in our approach and firm in our resolve in thinking of a large-scale, long-term solution to contain the fury of mother-nature on a sustainable basis.'' He said, ''We need to commit ourselves to preempting and preventing disaster, not just react to them. An internationally-created problem like climate change demands an internationally-supported suitable solution for those worst affected as in Bangladesh.'' Bangladesh's suggestions, incidentally, coincides with an international conference that began today in Bali, Indonesia, to work out an inter-governmental plan of action to tackle a growing incidence of natural disasters for climate change under the effects of heavy greenhouse gas emissions in the developed countries.

UNI

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