France offers credit line to tsunami-hit regions

12th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

GENEVA, Jan 11 (AFP) - France has opened up a credit line worth hundreds of millions of euros to enable countries crippled by the tsunami disaster to help worst hit regions get back on their feet.

GENEVA, Jan 11 (AFP) - France has opened up a credit line worth hundreds of millions of euros to enable countries crippled by the tsunami disaster to help worst hit regions get back on their feet.

The announcement of the EUR 300 million (USD 390 million) credit facility would help finance reconstruction projects in the short- to mid-term, French Finance Minister Herve Gaymard said on Tuesday.

Gaymard, speaking at a tsunami donor conference in Geneva, said: "France is setting in place a EUR 300 million credit facility, making it possible to contribute to the reconstruction in all the countries affected."

"Joint operations with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank could therefore be carried out," he added, according to a copy of his speech.

The French minister said the proposal represented "drawing rights on France, in particular the French Development Agency (AFD), of funds to be used in the years ahead and according to the wishes of the various countries, to put in place reconstruction projects."

He said the credit was "extra funding", additional to the AFD budget, and that these soft loans would not mean less French aid to other countries.

The extra funds come on top of the EUR 21 million already handed over by the French government, Gaymard said.

A separate sum of EUR 23 million could be made available in the next few weeks according to the needs of the various UN agencies for emergency measures, including the fight against the spread of diseases, he added.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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