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Jun 12, 2019

Red Cross Official Addresses Issue over Delayed Payment

Lily Bowman

A survey is currently underway within the refugee population in Belize. The survey is being commissioned by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in partnership with the Belize Red Cross.  The purpose of the survey is to collect and study data and use that information in order to assist refugees to better integrate into society as productive citizens.  The eight enumerators and two supervisors who are doing the groundwork are experiencing issues with payment.  They say they have not been paid for three weeks of work.  Director General Lily Bowman says the issue is not intentional.  In fact, according to Bowman, efforts have been made to pay the enumerators and supervisors.

 

Lily Bowman, Director General, Belize Red Cross

“It is not that the Belize Red Cross is withholding any payment from anybody. That is not our M.O. We meet all our debts but this time there has been a problem with the system not even here at the Belize Red Cross or here at the UNHCR but at the Panama office. From the problem began the Belize Red Cross went to all resource to ensure that regardless if the fund not being into our accounts for the reason that they have a problem we have still found the funds to pay the enumerators, the supervisors to ensure that they stipend coming to them. However over the last four weeks it is three weeks that we could not pay them because one week in between we did find the funds from somewhere else to give it them but we could not pay them. We have no other resources. The wire transfers that are suppose to come into our account could not be effected because they have not resolved the problem within the system. It is not that we are withholding any funds or we do not want to pay them. It is nothing like that. We realize the great work that they are doing out there in the heat in all these communities. We have acknowledged it. We have called them in for a meeting and explained to them the problem that is happening and that there are delays. We did give them a projected timeline that we thought it would have been resolved. Unfortunately it hasn’t. So we were trying to call them again because we have kept them in the loop throughout but they refuse to come again thinking that we are lying but that is not the case.”


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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