28 Jun 2005

Cooks plan to use ADB loan to better prepare for future cyclones

2:07 pm on 28 June 2005

The Cooks Islands Finance Minister, Sir Geoffrey Henry, says a significant loan from the Asian Development Bank will help protect the country from further cyclone damage in the future.

The government announced in the budget that the two point eight million US dollar loan would be used over the next two years to repair the damage caused by this season's cyclones.

But Sir Geoffrey says it will also help better prepare for those to come.

"It is intended that that particular loan facility will be used for not only disaster relief, but to set in train infrastructure reconstruction that would last , certainly a bit longer than some of the infrastructure we have out there. So we're looking at harbours that have been destroyed , we're looking at the roads, telephone facilities that have been destroyed, particularly on the islands of Puka Puka and Nassau, this is a long term re-construction programme."

The budget for this financial year is still being debated, but Sir Geoffrey Henry says he hopes it will be approved by the end of the week.