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Minister Habet Comments on GOB’s Loan Request from the CDB

The Briceno Administration is seeking a two-point-five million US dollar loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to replenish funds that were used following the aftermath of hurricanes Eta and Iota. The storms that had both made landfall back in November of 2020 resulted in major blows to the country’s infrastructure and agriculture sector. According to Minister of Disaster Risk Management, Orlando Habet the monies from the loan will assist the government with the financing of emergency restoration of critical infrastructure as a result of those damages.

Orlando Habet, Minister of Disaster Risk Management: “In the House you heard these monies coming back to the government actually it’s a reimbursement from monies that were already spent in late 2020 into 2021. After the hurricanes and after the floods we are required to make assessments so NEMO and its teams, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Human Development and all the ministries that assist us combined, Ministry of Agriculture and get all the information together and then we present to Cabinet a paper with all the costs for the damages. Once we reach a certain degree of damage then we can declare an emergency and then you can start getting some funding either grants or loans. In this case we got some grants but we also got some loans. Most of the damages occurred in the Cayo district along the Macal River and some along the Mopan River. Families were displaced for weeks at a time and so a lot of the monies used was to provide or food, for cleaning supplies, some for housing, mattresses and everything else that got wet, maybe some small stoves and then along the Belize River Valley where the water took about six to eight weeks to subside in certain areas it was the same thing. So we had to provide for weeks upon weeks as a matter of fact during the Christmas season last year we had thousands and thousands of food bags had to be delivered to the families that live along those areas. Not only there but even along the Belama area which got flooded for weeks so we had to spend on those areas. But a lot of the damages, the more expensive part, went into infrastructure because streets and roads were damaged on the George Price Highway by Blackman Eddy and that area. The newly paved road in certain areas were broken because it was soaked with water that came from the river and stayed there for weeks. So those are some of the areas where these monies were spent and a few thousand dollars were also put into assistance for agricultural loses so infrastructure, agriculture and food was where most of the money was spent.”