Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guatemalan president seeks aid from UN

Guatemala's president says the Central American nation will need at least $1 billion in aid to recover from tropical storms that killed at least 259 people and destroyed hundreds of bridges throughout the largely rural, mountainous nation beginning in late May.

President Alvaro Colom told The Associated Press on Monday that several European countries and the United States have confirmed they will attend an October meeting of donor countries to help rebuild Guatemala after widespread damage caused by Tropical Storm Agatha and subsequent storms.

"Main roads are devastated," said Colom. "We have 69 important bridges and 410 small bridges that are destroyed." He said four entire communities have to be moved to new locations.

Now, Colom said, Guatemala needs to create rules that prohibit the construction homes in areas vulnerable to heavy rains and flooding. "We cannot keep constructing as we have been," he said.

Colom spoke on the sidelines of a three-day world summit that opened Monday to study progress in the U.N. Millennium Development Goals set a decade ago to cut global poverty rates in half.

No comments:

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.