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Apr 28, 2016

Canadian High Commission Donates to Belizean Organizations

Three organizations were recognized today as beneficiaries of the Canada Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund. HelpAge Belize, NAVCO and SATIIM have all completed on disaster relief, funded by the Canadian Government. The High Commissioner, who is on a visit to Belize called on them today. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, the Canadian High Commissioner to Belize, Deborah Chatsis, presented commemorative plaques to recipients of three disaster reduction projects in Belize that have been completed through local organizations. Over one hundred and eighty-six thousand Canadian dollars, which amounts to a little less than three hundred thousand Belize dollars, were issued to Help Age Belize, the National Association of Village Councils and Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management.

 

Walter Bernyck

Walter Bernyck, Head of Cooperation, Canadian High Commission

“This project is caused the Canada Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund and it is a fund type mechanism to which N.G.O.s from across the region can apply for support. It’s always to help prepare for eventualities; for rains, hurricanes, natural disasters. Part of the regional program that Canada has, the overall envelope for the regional program is six hundred million dollars and it goes from Belize all the way to Bridgetown. So we have support to a number of organizations across the Caribbean region.”

 

The handing over took place at the Offices of HelpAge Belize on Wilson Street. According to Executive Director Ivorine Bulwer, the funds were used primarily for the rehabilitation of the Hazel Hutchinson Centre in Belmopan.

 

Ivorine Bulwer

Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director, HelpAge Belize

“The funding that we used was utilized for disaster mitigation and the majority of that funding was used at the Hazel Hutchinson Center which is our disaster site in the event there is a hurricane in Belize City. All our clients from Sister Cecilia will be transferred to Belmopan at the Hazel Hutchinson Center. So that building has been approved as a disaster center and we will utilize it. So the funding came, the retrofitting for that area came from the government and at the same time, we received some funds that were utilized for the Belize City site to facilitate safety and to ensure that there is an enclosure for our older residents.”

 

Several villages within the Belize River Valley also had some upgrades done to shelters. The National Association of Village Councils received the biggest grant of over ninety thousand Canadian dollars.

 

Ruth Staine Dawson

Ruth Staine Dawson, President, NAVCO

“Those funds were used in the Belize River Valley and it was used to retrofit some building that are used as hurricane shelters in the event of a disaster. In one instance, in the case of May Pen, it was used to provide some radio communication equipment. That’s how it was used. Our involvement was to manage the project. We were the ones who implemented it in three of our villages. It was Flowers Bank, Lemonal and I believe Rancho Dolores. And in each case, it was to improve existing structures so that in the event of a hurricane, in the event of any disaster that we will need to house members of the community, that these structures would be strong enough to do that.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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