Chile: Rebuilding The Country, an Update

Chile’s government shared it would take the country up to four years to recover from the earthquake.  Chile’s new President Sebastian Pinera is in charge of the country’s earthquake recovery work, and has prepared an emergency bill and a reconstruction law.  Pinera has estimated reconstruction will cost approximately 30 billion dollars and plans to build thousands of makeshift houses and tents, and dozens of hospitals to accommodate affected regions. Damaged roads, bridges, ports, airports, and other infrastructure are also in the process of being repaired.  Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurer, has estimated that the earthquake in Chile may cost insurance companies an additional 7 billion dollars.

The reconstruction program will be implemented in three phases.  The first, called the emergency reconstruction period, has ended in late March (took 30 days to complete).  The second, the winter reconstruction period, will primarily be for the re-settlement and heating for the affected people during winter time.  The final phase will focus on reconstruction throughout the country, and is expected to last four years.  According to Chile’s Interior Minister, these costs will be covered via five financial sources: fiscal austerity, state savings, donation from private sectors, public bonds, and tax adjustment for big companies.

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