Belize Red Cross looking to Provide Cash Assistance to Families Affected by Disasters
In the aftermath of a disaster such as a hurricane, getting relief to affected families is among the highest priority. The Belize Red Cross told Love News this week that Hurricane Lisa provided a lesson in needs assessment that the organization is bringing into this hurricane season. Red Cross Director General Lily Bowman, said that with each affected household being affected differently, prioritizing their needs should be left to them. That’s why the Belize Red Cross will be looking into providing cash for affected families.
Lily Bowman, Director General, Red Cross: “Lessons learned is that perhaps we have to stop, we have to start moving from more in-kind donations or more in-kind relief assistance to using cash. Cash program, we implemented a cash program and I know that so did the Government of Belize implement one. Our cash program really made us aware that through cash we can really promote dignity and respect for the people who are already down on their knees, you know, having been affected by the storm. The cash gives them independence, and that dignity to be able to say, well this is my priority. I don’t need a hygiene kit. I don’t need a kitchen set. I don’t need blankets. I need cash to buy roofing for my home, to buy maybe books that children, school children have lost. And in other words to put it into their own priority. So that was a big lesson learned for us.”
After Hurricane Lisa, damage assessments were conducted at over three thousand affected homes in Belize City.