A ceremony was held today in Orange Walk Town where the Orange Walk Regional Emergency Operations Center was handed over to officials. The construction of the Center was funded by the U.S. Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) at a cost of more than five hundred thousand American dollars. The HAP partnership works with Belize to strengthen and supplement local response and recovery efforts. This Emergency Operations Center is the first such facility in the Orange Walk District. The new facility will be used by NEMO, the Ministries of Labor, Health, and Education, the Belize Defense Force, the Belize Coast Guard, and the Orange Walk District Government to effectively coordinate disaster response and relief efforts. It will also enable NEMO to provide timely assistance to the people of Belize, especially those in remote areas. This project builds on the embassy’s long term disaster assistance to the Government of Belize, which has reached over USD $10.6 million since 2006.