A Thai woman takes a shower in a narrow alley in a flooded neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand, November 8, 2011.
A Thai woman takes a shower in a narrow alley in a flooded neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand, November 8, 2011.

Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has announced a three-stage program to help her country recover from its worst flooding in 50 years.

In a nationally televised address Tuesday, Yingluck described the three stages of the program as rescue, restore and rebuild. She said Thailand will emphasize efforts to restore the confidence of international investors, and to help those Thais who have suffered losses, including small and medium enterprises known as SMEs.

"From farmer, SME, and also that some small business and also the employee.  Plus, helping them on the damage of the housing.  Because, I think they need some of the certain budget, need some of the first start for them to recover and start the business," she said.

Yingluck also announced she has canceled plans to attend this week's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Hawaii in order to stay home and address the crisis.

Recovery efforts have already begun in parts of central and northern Thailand, where floodwaters have receded after inundating vast areas for months. However the water continues to threaten areas outside the flood walls surrounding Bangkok, where many residents are running out of food.

Bangkok resident Surasit Limsawakul said his neighbors who live far from main roads are finding it increasingly difficult to find food.

"It's getting more difficult to access food now. There are people who live deep in the back streets who face more difficulty than me to access the road and get food. I live near the road and can get a motorcycle ride to find food," he said. Those who live deep inside are suffering.''

Flood relief officials said that over the next year, they will focus on immediate responses to the disaster, including the provision of financial assistance and loans. Over the longer term, they will work to build international confidence in Thailand and restore the country's prosperity and stability.

Financial analysts say the flooding is expected to have a major impact on Thailand's economy, not least on its vital tourism sector.

The head of Thailand's Tourism Authority Suraphon Svetasreni said the impact is already being felt.

Officials say the flood crisis in Bangkok is expected to continue for another month. They say 527 people have been confirmed killed by the flooding so far.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.