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Dr Barnett Up to the Task of Sourcing Relief Funds

We have told you of contributions given to Belize by the European Union, the Embassy of Taiwan and the recent one by Inter-American Development Bank of two hundred thousand US dollars.  On August 4, Prime Minister announced that Dr Carla Barnett was being place as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance with the more pressing objective of finding relief funds in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl.   On Friday, we spoke with Dr Barnett on the progress of acquiring relief funds.


“Well at this time the focus is on relief  which means we are trying to engage ourselves in garnering resources to meet the immediate needs of those who have been affected and contributions like these contribute to that. There is a longer term effort which is to assess our overall economic consequences of Earl on the economy of Belize and then seeing what economic policies what responses how we need to engage with our international partners to deal with those but that is a secondary line of work; for right now the focus is on meeting the immediate needs of people who have been affected.”

Dr Barnett went on to speak on the different phases being conducted when it comes to the damage assessments being made by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).


“NEMO is still in the field doing assessments. The first set of assessments had to do with need for basic food and shelter and mattresses and those kinds of things. They now are in the stage of responding to those who are in a position to help themselves in terms of small repairs to homes so they are dealing with helping with zinc and those kinds of things to people who have been affected. Then they will move on to the next phase to try and see how they can meet the needs of people who are even more affected.”

As it pertains to the immediate needs, Barnett says they are doing their best to respond to everyone.


” For the immediate needs it’s difficult to put a cost on the immediate needs, we are trying to respond to everybody and we are responding through NEMO and we are doing it that way because NEMO has the skill and experience in identifying and in responding along with the Ministry of Human Development so together they have been going into the communities and assessing what the needs are and we have been meeting those.”

Hurricane Earl made landfall on Belize around midnight on August 3.