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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Algeria agrees $1.8bn quake fund
By Mohamed Arezki Himeur
BBC, Algiers

An Algerian woman carries water in a makeshift camp in Zemmouri, 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Algiers
Thousands are still homeless
The Algerian Government has approved a $1.8bn package to rebuild the areas hit by last week's earthquake.

The money will be spent on reconstructing housing and infrastructure destroyed by the tremors which struck the regions of Algiers and Boumerdes on 21 May.

The two-year programme will initially focus on building 20,000 new homes.

The earthquake has left 2,261 dead and more than 10,000 injured, according to provisional figures.

Thousands are still missing and tens of thousands of families have suffered a loss of some kind. The tremor led to the collapse or the partial destruction of hundreds of buildings, villas and houses.

Villages 'lost'

The industrial regions of Rouira and Reghaia where the big factories and economic businesses are situated, were severely affected by the quake.

Hundreds of factories and businesses were totally or at least partially destroyed. Some villages have almost been erased from the map.

The tremor also left a trail of destruction in the towns and villages of Tizi ouzou, Bouira, Blida, Medea and Tipaza.

About 70,000 people are seeking refuge in 170 camps which are equipped with electricity, drinking water, showers and toilets, as well as medical assistance and security.

Children play in a camp for people left homeless by the earthquake, in Dellys about 90km (55 miles) east of Algiers
Life has been completely disrupted
Thousands of other people are living wherever they can find shelter. They will be taken progressively into makeshift camps.

Officials have said newly-built houses, or houses being built, were the most affected by the earthquake.

Already, 3,500 houses have been registered as destroyed. The government has promised to re-house all those affected.

First aid and humanitarian work has continued despite the huge scale of the disaster.

At least 47,000 men, 20,000 of them soldiers and gendarmes and 7,000 of them firemen, helped by thousands of volunteers have taken part in the rescue and relief operation.


SEE ALSO:
New tremor hits Algeria
28 May 03  |  Africa
Fury and despair fill Algerian press
24 May 03  |  Middle East
In pictures: Algeria earthquake
22 May 03  |  Photo Gallery
Eyewitness: The earth shook
23 May 03  |  Africa
Deadly history of earthquakes
01 May 03  |  In Depth
Country profile: Algeria
06 May 03  |  Country profiles


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