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Thailand: Short-term and Long-term Rehabilitation Plans to Assist Flood Victims
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Thailand
Created: Oct 25, 2011

The Government has started to work out short-term and long-term rehabilitation plans to assist flood victims and cope with the impact of the floods.

It has appointed three committees to be responsible for rehabilitation work and activities. The first committee, chaired by Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat, is in charge of infrastructure rehabilitation. The second committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, is responsible for economic rehabilitation. The third one, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Police General Kowit Wattana, has responsibility for social rehabilitation.

The committee on social rehabilitation met on 20 October 2011, when it acknowledged four phases of rehabilitation to be implemented. The first phase, lasting about two months, seeks to provide immediate assistance. The three other phases seek to provide long-term assistance during the period of high-water levels, when flood water recedes, and during the adjustment of permanent infrastructure. Short- and long-term rehabilitation plans will be submitted to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board for consideration.

In order to assist folk artists affected by flooding, the Ministry of Culture will launch a new website as a marketing channel to sell cultural products and bring traditional knowledge and local wisdom to promote the community economy through income and employment generation. The website will also present news and information about Thai culture, especially folk cultural performances.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Governor of the Bank of Thailand, Paiboon Kittisrikangwan, said that the central bank believed that damage from floods would slow down the country’s economy in the fourth quarter of this year. The industrial sector is unlikely to recover before the end of the year. Even so, rehabilitation and reconstruction would help stimulate the economy at a later stage. Rapid rehabilitation work would also bring about quick economic recovery.

Taking into consideration of the current situation, Mr. Paiboon said that the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee agreed to keep the interest rate unchanged at 3.5 percent. It believed that the low rate would be favorable to rehabilitation efforts after the flooding eases.

He said that the Bank of Thailand sympathized with the plight of the affected people and businesses. It had asked cooperation from commercial banks to offer assistance to their clients through various programs, such as debt rescheduling and loan extensions with special interest rates.

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