France offers €50m earthquake aid

France offered Algeria a loan of up to €50m to help its former colony rebuild after a devastating earthquake killed more than 2,200 people and flattened entire villages.

France offered Algeria a loan of up to €50m to help its former colony rebuild after a devastating earthquake killed more than 2,200 people and flattened entire villages.

Algerian Finance Minister Abdelatif Benachenhou was in Paris yesterday for talks with French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and several Cabinet members.

Afterwards, the premier’s office announced that France would offer a credit line of between €30m and €50m.

The death toll from May 21 quake in northern Algeria stands at 2,266, with more than 10,000 injured.

About 80,000 survivors are living in tents or in the open, according to Interior Ministry figures.

Many Algerians have blamed the government for the high death toll, shortages of food and water and what they say was a slow response to the catastrophe.

France has recently been building stronger ties with its one-time colony.

In March, President Jacques Chirac made the first full-fledged state visit by a French leader to Algeria since the North African nation gained independence in 1962.

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