The East coast will take up to 40 percent of rebuilding spend, with the tsunami bill at a final US$ 1.5 bn

Sri Lanka’s top donors say the East coast will take up to 40 percent of the country spend on rebuilding, with the tsunami re-construction bill at a final US$ 1.5 bn.

The Central Bank has estimated that the combined effect of the tsunami will shave off less than a percentage point of GDP this year.

“The tsunami had an impact on a large number of poor people and it is vital now that we do not rebuild that poverty,” World Bank Country Director, Peter Harrold said.

Tidal waves that swept across Sri Lanka’s Northern, Eastern and Southern coasts last month, killed 31,000 people and displaced close upon half a million.

About 6300 still remain missing. Of those killed 27,000 were fishing families, with the waves destroying 29,700 boats – 65 percent of the country’s fishing fleet.

The Eastern province, already caught up in the civil war was among the hardest hit, with well over 40 percent of the total damage, followed by the Southern coastal belt.

About 90,000 houses in the East destroyed during the conflict were due for reconstruction, the report says, before the tsunami struck.

Up to 30 percent of financing needs in most areas will go to t