World Bank plans $710m China loan for quake recovery

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BEIJING, Oct 27 (Reuters) - The World Bank is planning to lend China $710 million to help with the reconstruction of areas destroyed by May's earthquake, a bank spokeswoman said on Monday.

China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday that the World Bank would provide an emergency recovery loan in that amount, $510 million of which would go to Sichuan province, which was hardest hit by the quake.

The balance would go to neighbouring Gansu province, it said.

A bank spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the intended amount but said it was not yet a done deal.

"We're still waiting for final approval from the State Council," she said, referring to the country's cabinet. "These are preliminary numbers."

Xinhua also said that the French Development Agency (AFD) was planning to lend China $200 million for the construction of infrastructure and homes in those areas.

The May 12 earthquake killed at least 80,000 people and made more than 10 million homeless.

The government expects to spend a total of $147 billion over three years on reconstruction in the areas, Xinhua said.

(Reporting by Jason Subler; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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