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Jul 10, 2014

Humanitarian Organizations Provides Disaster Relief for Fire Victims in San Pedro

At around eight p.m. on Sunday, July sixth, a massive blaze in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro destroyed eight homes, displacing sixteen families. They lost everything, all their possessions, and were left with only the clothes on their backs. But the desperation of those families has spawned a tremendous multi-agency relief effort. NEMO, the Red Cross, the Human Development Department, the San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Lion’s Club, along with the community, have joined hands to provide relief to those left destitute. Today News Five spoke to Red Cross Director-General Lily Bowman, who told us about that organization’s work to alleviate the suffering.

 

Lily Bowman, Director-General, Belize Red Cross

“This is led by our San Pedro Branch which has been very active and very quick to respond from the very beginning. The headquarters has been sending out relief items which will be distributed today, but before that they were carrying out their assessments, and in collaboration with the Mayor, the Town Council and NEMO of course, the Lions Club, they have been gathering supplies and taking care of those people.”

 

Reporter

“Have you requested any assistance from the rest of the country?”

 

Lily Bowman

Lily Bowman

“Not the Red Cross per se, because it is a community effort being done in San Pedro and I think yesterday they had a telethon and a radiothon and they were raising funds for assistance.”

 

Reporter

“On occasions like this…there have been other fires, there was one in Corozal. Does the Red Cross go in, or does it have to be asked to go in.”

 

Lily Bowman

“The Red Cross is independent so it goes in whenever they are needed. But what we do is we attend to the humanitarian side of things. There are other organizations including NEMO who will watch out for the shelter and other hard core assistance that the family may need, but the Red Cross does move in right away as long as there is that need for them to do it.”

 

 

A radio-thon organized by the Belize Red Cross has raised twenty-two thousand dollars for those affected. NEMO has provided stoves, mattresses and other necessary supplies. The Human Development Department has provided a cash stipend as well as food vouchers for a month, while the Lion’s Club has provided clothing. As to shelter, the Town Board has found accommodations for all those displaced, at least until they can build back what was lost.

 

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