The Mexican government has announced financial aid for people whose homes sustained total or partial damage in the September 7 and 19 earthquakes.
Up to 120,000 pesos (US $6,600) will be granted to people who lost their homes completely due to collapse, severe ruptures or foundation displacement while owners of homes with repairable damage such as floor cracks or the partial collapse of a wall or roof will receive 30,000 pesos (US $1,650).
If damage can be repaired by the home owners themselves, the amount will be 5,500 pesos.
The payments will be disbursed through the federal disaster fund, Fonden.
In response to this month’s two devastating earthquakes, the Interior and Finance secretariats also changed some of the rules that govern the fund.
They include making it easier for local governments to access funds more quickly and, in some cases, increasing the amount of money available to quake victims.
People faced with the task of rebuilding their homes completely will be given the option of relocating to land acquired by either the local or federal government and if they take up the offer they would receive the full amount of 120,000 pesos to rebuild.
Meanwhile, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín, guaranteed that the more than 38 billion pesos (just over US $2 billion) that President Enrique Peña Nieto estimates will be needed for reconstruction would be reassigned from other areas of the federal budget.
While he said it was unclear which areas of the budget would be cut, he assured that spending on security, education, health and social programs would not be affected.
Peña Nieto, who announced the figure earlier this week, made it clear that the money had to be found somewhere.
“We have to look for the money for the reconstruction fund, there is no way to say no.”
Finance Secretary José Antonio Meade said that every peso of federal money assigned to damage repair and reconstruction would have GPS data assigned in order to track exactly what it is used for.
“Fonden rules require georeferencing of all support . . . every peso will have GPS so that citizens can monitor it,” he told the broadcaster Televisa.
Despite Meade’s assurance that all money will be used for what it is intended, politicians from other parties have questioned whether the 38-billion-peso amount will be enough.
The Coordinator of Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) deputies, Francisco Martínez Neri, said the announcement of the figure was rushed and doubted that it was accurate given that six states were affected by the two quakes.
PRD Senator Dolores Padierna also questioned the amount, saying that according to expert estimates at least 250 billion pesos will be required for reconstruction. The estimate considers that 40 billion pesos proved insufficient for rebuilding efforts in Guerrero following damage by two hurricanes that struck the state in 2013, she said.
National Action Party (PAN) senators announced that they would present legal reforms next week that will propose the creation of a national reconstruction fund in addition to Fonden so that victims of the quakes would have faster access to support.
Source: Milenio (sp)