Farmers hit hard by bird flu get 68.6 billion won in aid

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Farmers hit hard by bird flu get 68.6 billion won in aid

The Ministry of Finance and Strategy said Tuesday that as of Jan. 3 it has supplied 68.6 billion won ($58.8 million) in subsidies to farms heavily affected by the bird flu outbreak that began last year.

That is 28.9 percent of the 237.3 billion won the government promised farms as compensation for culling chickens and ducks.

The infected farms receiving compensation are infected farms and those within a 10 kilometers of infected sites that had to cull as a preemptive measure.

The government said it plans to pay much of the remaining 168.7 billion won before the Lunar New Year starts Jan. 27. Of the remaining 168.7 billion won, 133.4 billion won had been approved as of Jan. 9.

A government official added that even if applications for compensation from farms haven’t been reviewed yet, it will try to provide 50 percent of the compensation.

“The government will act swiftly so that the compensation will be distributed as fast as possible,” a Finance Ministry official said. “We expect [the subsidies] will help affected farms find stability.”

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