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China: Rebuilding quake zone to cost $147B

  • Story Highlights
  • About 3,400 primary schools to be rebuilt in quake zone, China says
  • Agency report recommends job creation for a million people
  • May 12 quake killed nearly 70,000 people; another 18,000 remain missing
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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Rebuilding China's earthquake-devastated areas is expected to cost $147 billion, according to a government report released last August.

The blueprint for reconstruction comes from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which calls for about 3,400 primary schools to be rebuilt in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, state media reported.

The safety at another 2,600 needs to be improved, according to the commission.

The plan also calls for 3 million new homes in rural areas and 860,000 new apartments in the quake-hit areas.

The May 12 quake killed nearly 70,000 people and more than 18,000 others are still listed as missing. Millions were left homeless in the 7.9-magnitude temblor.

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The NDRC report also recommends that the government create employment for a million people and provide "housing, infrastructure and basic services to the 1.4 million farmers put into absolute poverty as a result of the quake."

The May earthquake caused more than $122 billion in direct economic losses, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

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Sichuan officials have said they want to rebuild communities within three years, The Associated Press reported. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said rebuilding in the other two provinces should be complete by 2010, AP reported.

Soon after the quake, China set up a $10 billion reconstruction fund -- compared with the $40 billion spent on the Olympic Games that are under way in the capital, Beijing, AP reported.

Copyright 2009 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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