Gov’t, ruling party to use 185.3 bln won for wildfire damage recovery

SEOUL, The government and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) agreed Wednesday to spend a total of 185.3 billion won (US$158.7 million) to help the victims of a wildfire that hit swaths of forest in eastern South Korea.

The DP had a trilateral session with related government agencies and the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, on "comprehensive measures" to help five cities and smaller towns in Gangwon Province: Goseong, Sokcho, Gangneung, Donghae and Inje.

A massive fire swept through the areas in early April before being extinguished within a few days.

Two people were killed and 553 houses were burnt, with more than 1,000 people displaced, the DP floor leader, Rep. Hong Young-pyo, said at the start of the session. Property damages are estimated to reach 123 billion won.

"The government and the ruling party will explore all available means and methods for residents there," Hong said.

Briefing media on the results of the discussions, Rep. Cho Jung-sik, the party's policy chief, said the authorities would promptly inject 185.3 billion won, including 11 billion won for the construction of temporary houses for the displaced.

He added that the government will efficiently spend 47 billion won, raised from public donations, for those in need in the fire-hit regions.

The government also plans to use 94 billion won of additional funds, included in a supplementary budget bill, as soon as it's approved by the National Assembly.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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