The earthquake recovery work are on hold after the transfer process of the funds earmark for the 7.5 magnitude earthquake restoration in the Highlands was suspended following the recent change in government.
That’s from the Emergency Controller Dr. William Hamblin when clarifying the issues surrounding the use of the US$50 million (appr. K163 million) from the World Bank loan.
Dr Hamblin says the initial K10million from that fund was supposed to be transferred from the Treasury Department to the concerned authorities for the restoration project commencement, but is still on hold at this time.
“This was delayed for unknown reasons but was to be transferred under the provision that each round of project had to be fully acquitted before a new trench of funds was released,” said Dr. Hamblin.
The US$50 milllion was for budget support and not specifically for the earthquake response, but the previous government decided to allocate the funds to the Emergency Controller office to use for restoration activities.
“It was decided that funds would be placed in a subsidiary trust accounts under the main trust; that is, one account for Hela and another for Southern Highlands.”
“The Emergency Controller, Secretary Finance and the respective provincial administrators were to be account signatories.”
Dr Hamblin said this safeguard was put in place to ensure both the provincial and Emergency Controller had to agree on any expenditure.
Nevertheless, despite the safeguard this will not mean much if the funds are not used for its intended purpose. Dr. Hamblin said he has received expression of interests from companies in each provinces and was to select contractors in agreement with the relevant provincial administrations, but this will now have to wait.
Meanwhile, to date Dr Hamblin said neither the provinces nor his office has received any funds from the World Bank money.
Picture: aftermath of earthquake- source the guardian.com