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Aug 17, 2016

Hurricane Relief Funds Coming In Slowly for Government

Today marks the second week since Hurricane Earl ravaged parts of the Belize District.  In the wake of the disaster, relief efforts have included generous donations from various organizations to the Belize Red Cross.  On Thursday, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT, will also be making a significant contribution to the Red Cross.  So while there is help on the way through this well-positioned and tested humanitarian organization, how is government fairing off when it comes to raising relief funds?  Much slower.  To date G.O.B. has only received roughly one point two million dollars in grants and related funding from its regional counterparts.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We’ve gotten something from CDB or if we’ve not gotten it yet it’s certainly on the way.  The CEDEMA man is coming in tomorrow and I think he’s bringing two hundred thousand Euros or about a hundred thousand U.S., something like that.  Taiwan is two hundred thousand Belize and the IDB has agreed to their grant of I think two hundred thousand U.S.  The ECLAC damage assessment experts have been contracted; I think they are coming in next week.  That of course is for purposes of the loans that we will be trying to access via both CDB and the IDB.  In terms of grant monies, I think we’ve just about tapped out or we’ve just about reached the limit of what we’re going to get.  So again, it’s CEDEMA, CDB, IDB and Taiwan.  Altogether you’d be looking at what?  One point two or something like that, million dollars which is not a whole lot. Well I wouldn’t want to say it’s a joke but it is a paltry amount but, you know, the winnow’s might.  We have to accept what we get.”

 

Reporter

“Is that why the government is proceeding to go back to the house for more treasury notes and bills?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“No, no, no.  That was, remember that was fixed well before the hurricane.  In fact, the meeting was only put off because of the hurricane.  No, no, going back to the House to increase the Treasury bill threshold has to do with what we expect we will have to pay next year in terms of the second installment of the arbitral award relating to B.T.L.”

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