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Aug 4, 2016

Senator Carla Barnett on Accessing Aid Relief from International Partners

Carla Barnett

Barnett explained the process and plan which will be immediately implemented to ensure that Belize has the ability to access aid relief from our international partners.

 

Carla Barnett, Senator

“What we will be setting out to do is to ensure that the relief part of what needs to be done, which is the immediate response, can be dealt with quickly. That’s food, water, whatever is needed for people who have been affected.  The medium term issue is one of cleanup, recovery and reconstruction. We have to ensure that in assessing our losses, we do so in a way that is as accurate as possible and in a way that deals with the economic cost of the losses that we have. It’s not really only the fact that we lose so many acres of corn; it’s what that means downstream for cattle. So there’s a methodology that we will have to go through to assess the economic cost and then there is a conversation that we will have to have with the international community in terms of being able to finance the recovery that is necessary because there is going to be need for recovery. There are particular concerns about housing. We know that there were significant damages to housing and so we have to see how we approach that. There is the immediate short term fix, but there is a long term fix to housing that is necessary so that we don’t go through the same extent of damage and destruction every time. So there’s a range of things that we need to do. The experts in NEMO, in disaster assessment are out doing their assessments; the experts in the Ministry of Agriculture doing their assessments; in B.T.B., they will be furthering the conversations with the tourism stakeholders so that we can be sure to take account of all that needs to be taken into account. But it is going to be difficult. There’s a larger economic context that we really need to be very, very cognizant of.”

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