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Commercial sector hit worst by Ketsana: govt

THE National Committee for Disaster Management on Tuesday provided a sector-by-sector breakdown of financial losses incurred as a result of Typhoon Ketsana, and renewed calls for foreign donors and NGOs to assist in the national recovery effort.

All told, the storm, which battered Cambodia last September, cost the Kingdom about US$130 million, according to updated figures presented at a workshop in Phnom Penh.

Damage to the commercial sector – which includes agriculture and industry – totalled about $60 million; damage to the housing, healthcare and education sectors totalled about $42 million, and damage to infrastructure totalled $28 million. So-called secondary sectors, including environment and public administration, sustained about $300,000 in damage, officials said.

Nhim Vanda, the NCDM’s first vice president, emphasised the importance of a speedy recovery. “Disasters will not stop. They will continue to happen,” he said. “We have to prevent, reduce and restore.”

He added: “It is necessary for foreign donors, NGOs and ministries and institutions to join hands and aid Cambodia.”

Keo Vy, deputy director of the NCDM’s communications office, said ministries had been tasked with preparing damage reports for the government, which will soon present specific aid requests to donors.

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