By: Olkeriil Eoghan Ngirudelsang
The distribution of financial assistance to those whose houses were damaged by Typhoon Surigae is still ongoing. Currently there are two sources of monetary help intended to help Surigae victims; the financial aid given out by the government through Palau Red cross society (PRCS) and the special loan of up to $2,000 dollars lent by the National Development Bank of Palau(NDBP).
Today May 18, the distribution of financial assistance will continue for homes in Koror and Airai that were classified as category 2. As previously reported, category two are those primary dwellings that were destroyed by the recent typhoon, whose residents were not able to occupy the dwelling structure. Homes located in the rest of Palau’s states that were classified as category 2 have received this financial assistance, except Sonsorol, Hatohobei, and Ngchesar that did not have category 2 houses in their respective states.
According to PRCS executive director Maireng Sengebau, financial assistance to all houses classified as category 1 houses have not been disbursed yet. Category one houses according to an email from director Sengebau are “household that suffered partial to significant damage to the dwelling structure; the household damages are major; and/or the residents were not able to occupy the household during the initial 72 hours immediately after the disaster”.
The other form of financial aid given out as loan by NDBP is also still in progress. At last Wednesday’s press conference Vice President J. Uduch Senior stated that “the deadline for this special loan program is May 31, 2021”. This up to $2,000 special loan program with low interest of 6% is giving its recipients up to 5 years to pay back this loan. All of the application fees for this specific loan program are waived. Furthermore, individuals who have already repaired their homes can submit the invoices and receipts of the materials they bought for their home repairs and be given this Surigae loan assistance.
At another press conference, NDBP operations manager Carla West reported that “upon completion of the short application, this loan assistance could be issued the very next day” In a phone interview, West shared that as of today, a little over 80 individuals have applied for this assistance. Most applicants requested for the maximum amount of two thousand dollars.