Emergency commission promises drought aid

The month of May set all-time records for the lack of rain in Guanacaste, but the national emergency commission said that June will be a key month in distributing aid to farmers and ranchers.

The commission said that 15.5 billion colons or about $28.5 million will be distributed this month. The aid ranges from hay for animals to subsidies to families affected by the drought.

Officials from the  Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias met with their local counterparts last week to discuss the distribution. They  also will be distributing seed and fertilizer for growers of cash crops like sugar cane, rice, corn onions, coffeeand beans., the commission said.

The aid comes from a decree issued last September. In a release, the commission blamed the prior administration for not making plans to confront the effects of El Niño.

The  Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería will be in charge of the distribution, said a summary.

The commission said it spent four months approving the money for the supplies, but that other entities, such as the Banca para el Desarrollo and the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social have been proving aid to residents of the area, too.

The decree covers more than just Guanacaste, Drought extends down the Pacific coast.

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