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Nov 7, 2022

Ministry of Human Development Launches its Hurricane Lisa Relief Operations

Over the weekend, the Ministry of Human Development began distributing relief supplies to residents affected by Hurricane Lisa in Belize District. From the ITVET compound in Belize City food, tarps, water, and medical supplies were sent out across the Old Capital. On hand to assist the Ministry of Human Development with the heavy lifting were members of the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard. Government workers from various ministries were also present to assist. The operation reached thousands of victims with much needed supplies. The World Food Program was also there to lend its support. We spoke with C.E.O. Tanya Santos, of the Ministry of Human Development, and Rashiel Velarde, the Program Policy Officer at the World Food Program.


Tanya Santos

Tanya Santos, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“This morning what you are seeing is the planning and distributing of the food assistance, the food packs, the hygiene packs that are going out for the Belize City affected victims of Hurricane Lisa. The staff of Human Development is actually the coordinators for the relief effort here in Belize City and throughout the country. We are the chair of the Relief and Supplies Management Committee of NEMO and so we are here getting all the packages together, loading them and going out in the field to distribute to the victims. Thankfully we have a lot of volunteers today, a lot of support from the Belize Defense Force, from the Coast Guard, from other ministries in the Government of Belize, we have Sustainable Development,  Belize Tax Service, we have Ministry of Finance, Youth Department, several. If I miss anybody I apologize, but thankfully we have am lot volunteers today,. The man power is what is needed. We are also doing a training of assessors. We were fortunate to have the support of C.E.O. Martinez and Ms. Trejo the Director of SIB who have loaned us some tablets they were using for the Census to do some digital assessment. We do our needs assessment out there and we have our system digitized.”


Rashiel Velarde

Rashiel Velarde, Programme Policy Officer, World Food Programme

“The World Food Program has been working in the Caribbean for quite a while. We were present here in Belize since first quarter of 2022. So, what we are working in the Caribbean is mostly on disaster risk management and also social protection. These are the same thing we are working with the Belize government. So, beginning this year we started our deep engagement, specifically with the Ministry of Human Development. We call it shock responsive social protection. The idea is that we link together social protection, how we provide assistance to the most vulnerable, especially those who are most affected by shocks, natural disasters like Hurricane Lisa.”

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