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Feb 21, 2002

Red Cross assesses Iris relief

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Their recent relief efforts for Hurricane Iris were so seamless that you’d think the Red Cross had previously staged a full dress rehearsal. Of course, they had…in the form of Hurricane Keith. Today the organisation met to take stock of how they performed.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

The Belize Red Cross was one of the first organisations to come to the aid of Hurricane Iris victims in The Stann Creek and Toledo Districts.

Florita Gidwani, Director General, Belize Red Cross

“Immediate response was shelter, food of course and those started immediate with the Toledo branch becoming active. And after doing their assessment, getting into providing these much needed assistance to those in the area.”

In January, the society distributed its last supply of food and is now concentrating its efforts on training community volunteers to better prepare for disasters. Today, the Red Cross leadership met to evaluate its performance in the aftermath of Iris. Representative of the International Red Cross Federation, Rob Linker, says he is impressed with the amount of work the local society was able to accomplish.

Rob Linker, Rep., International Red Cross Federation

“The morning after the hurricane struck, with their own supplies and own funding, to get the work already done, because our appeal is launched a little later after the hurricane struck. So the moment that officially our operation started has a time gap. And the Belize Red Cross does not sit around and wait for events to happen, so they start immediately and later on we got involved in the game with funding and took over funding of the Belize Red Cross.”

That work has been documented in a video production titled, The Challenge Continues: Hurricane Iris Response.

Florita Gidwani

“Well the production we’re happy to say, was done by Kriol Gyal Prodokshans, and it is very detailed. It’s a fourteen minute video, which portrays the work we did, guided by our seven fundamental principles and work, those involved, all our volunteers from the start to the finish, both in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts.”

Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Florita Gidwani, says her organisation was able to respond so extensively only thanks to the overwhelming support they received from local and international donors. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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