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Bush seeks $20 bn more for Katrina rebuilding

US President George W Bush has sought almost $20 billion in extra funding to pay for Hurricane Katrina rebuilding around New Orleans.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 09:03 IST

US President George W Bush has sought almost $20 billion in extra funding to pay for Hurricane Katrina rebuilding around New Orleans.

The $19.8 billion request to Congress comes on top of more than $87 billion already approved for the reconstruction effort after the August 29 storm that killed 1,300 people and destroyed 300,000 homes.

A Congress report this week strongly criticised the administration for failing to heed warnings before the hurricane and responding too slowly after.

The White House proposed $9.4 billion for continuing disaster relief for the homeless and rebuilding public facilities, $4.2 billion to protect or relocate housing and infrastructure in flood zones in Louisiana and $1.3 billion for disaster loans.

Bush also sought $1.3 billion to bolster hurricane and storm defences in the New Orleans region, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina. The government has already allotted $1.5 billion for flood protection for the devastated city.

On top of the House of Representatives report criticising administration inaction during Katrina, a separate Congress watchdog this week said that millions of dollars of government funds for Katrina relief had been lost to fraud.

The Senate on Thursday approved legislation to provide extra relief for hurricane victims.

The bill includes provisions that would extend unemployment benefits for storm victims and reimburse communities for supplies purchased for victims, such as linens, cots and toiletries.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 09:03 IST