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Peru's President: Flood Recovery May Cost Up to $9B


FILE - Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski speaks to reporters in Washington, Feb. 24, 2017.

The reconstruction of areas of Peru hit by severe floods in recent months will cost $3 billion in the short term, and up to $9 billion over five years, the country's president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, said in a radio interview on Friday.

Although Peru's mining-dependent economy was healthy in the long-term, the immediate effects of the floods were severe, Kuczynski said.

Train tracks lay destroyed in a flooded river in the Chosica district of Lima, Peru, March 19, 2017.
Train tracks lay destroyed in a flooded river in the Chosica district of Lima, Peru, March 19, 2017.

"Immediate reconstruction I think will cost us two to three billion dollars, and after that, the public works that will allow Peru to be a modern country will take time, not 15 years, but, yes, five years," the president said on local radio station RPP. "There we have another five or six billion dollars."

Over a hundred people have died in Peru from rain-related events since December, many in March after a sudden warming of Pacific waters unleashed torrential downpours in the Andean nation.

At least 6,000 miles of highways have been destroyed.

Kuczynski said in March that Peru would hike its 2017 budget by 3 percent to fund emergency and recovery efforts.

"Now, they're discussing if the fiscal deficit is going to be 2 or 3 percent, if (2017) growth is going to be 3 or 3.5 percent," Kuczynski said in the interview.

Hundreds of people from small villages close to the city of Piura, in northern Peru, are gathering in temporary camps, March 31, 2017, where they receive shelter, food and medical care.
Hundreds of people from small villages close to the city of Piura, in northern Peru, are gathering in temporary camps, March 31, 2017, where they receive shelter, food and medical care.

Last week, Peru's finance minister said reconstruction efforts would cost about $3 billion over three years and begin in the second half of 2017.

The recovery process would merit a wider fiscal deficit target, he said, but would not require the country to access debt markets.

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