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Apr 27, 2020

NEMO is Under-Utilized in Providing Humanitarian Relief

Julius Espat

Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat also raised the issue of the Red Cross and the Belize Defense Force as part of the COVID distribution network.  He, too, had strong concerns as to why both organizations with a proven history of humanitarian aid have not been utilized in aiding government’s efforts.


Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South

“Why is it that they haven‘t used the Red Cross, Madam Speaker, what‘s the problem with the Red Cross?  Why has government not approached UNICEF?  Why is that Madam Speaker?  Why is government totally abandoning NEMO?  We have spent millions and millions and millions of dollars equipping NEMO so that they can be prepared when we have an emergency, yet all that organization, all that financing supposedly is not being used or is under-utilized.  So why have it?  What‘s the purpose of having a National Emergency Management Organization when crisis hits you push them aside, you don‘t pay them any mind and you put it in the hands of other people that have absolutely no clue on how to solve a management of an emergency.  That is not being political, that is fair commentary.  That is a concern.  I think the prime minister needs to look at that.  If NEMO can be there when a hurricane comes, supposedly, then why is it that they can’t deal with the distribution of food.  They have warehouses, they have trucks, they have people that we pay every single day.  They have minister, specific minister and that minister is a representative of a rural community too, so he knows exactly the problems we are facing in the rural areas.  Just to give you an example Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, the following are some general recommendations that we would hope that the prime minister would put and take into consideration when he does the necessary legislation and when he puts in the necessary regulations so that we can move forward.”

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