Thai PM Lays Out Three-Part Flood Recovery Plan

Posted November 8th, 2011 at 5:05 am (UTC-5)
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Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has announced a three-stage program to help her country recover from its worst flooding in 50 years.

In a nationally televised address Tuesday, Ms. Yingluck described the three stages of the program as rescue, restore and rebuild. She said Thailand will emphasize efforts to restore the confidence of international investors, and to help those Thais who have suffered losses, including small and medium enterprises known as SMEs.

Ms. Yingluck also announced she has canceled plans to attend this week's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Hawaii in order to stay home and address the crisis.

Recovery efforts have already begun in parts of central and northern Thailand, where floodwaters have receded after inundating vast areas for months. However the water continues to threaten areas outside the flood walls surrounding Bangkok, where many residents are running out of food.

One Bangkok resident said his neighbors who live far from main roads are finding it increasingly difficult to find food.

He said many of those people are suffering.

Flood relief officials said that over the next year, they will focus on immediate responses to the disaster, including the provision of financial assistance and loans. Over the longer term, they will work to build international confidence in Thailand and restore the country's prosperity and stability.

Financial analysts say the flooding is expected to have a major impact on Thailand's economy, not least on its vital tourism sector.

The head of Thailand's Tourism Authority said the impact is already being felt.

Officials say the flood crisis in Bangkok is expected to continue for another month. They say 527 people have been confirmed killed by the flooding so far.