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Tsunami Rebuild Will Cost $10-$12 Billion

February 16, 2005

by Kevin Caruso

The cost to rebuild areas devastated by the tsunami disaster will be $10-$12 billion, according to Hafiz Pasha, United Nations Assistant Secretary General

The United Nations requested almost $1 billion for the relief operation, but the rebuilding phase will be considerably more expensive because of the costs involved with clearing massive debris and constructing buildings, roads and infrastructure.

“The relief operation was highly complex involving many different agencies and I think we have managed to avoid the worst case scenario in terms of disease breaking out,” said Pasha. “But now we are beginning to make a transition from the relief to the early recovery stage which will focus on the physical infrastructure -- clearing the rubble and helping people to reestablish their livelihoods.”

“The United Nations had received $925 million of the $977 million that it had requested for relief work,” he said. “But for the reconstruction phase I'm afraid it gets much more expensive -- over the next three to five years we will need between $10 billion and $12 billion.”

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