Minister Habet comments on GOB loan application to CBD – Love FM
The Briceno administration is seeking a two point five million US dollar loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to replenish funds that were used in the aftermath of Hurricanes Eta and Iota. The storms, which both made landfall in November 2020, have taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure and agriculture sector. Disaster Risk Management Minister Orlando Habet said the loan money will help the government fund emergency restoration of critical infrastructure following the damage.
Orlando Habet, Minister of Disaster Risk Management: “In the House, you heard these moneys coming back to the government in fact, it’s a refund of money that was already spent at the end of 2020 in 2021. After the hurricanes and after the floods, we are required to do assessments in order to that NEMO and its teams, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Human Development and all the ministries that help us, the Ministry of Agriculture and gathers all the information, then we present to the Cabinet a document with all the costs of the damage . Once we get to a certain level of damage, we can declare an emergency and then you can start getting funding, in the form of grants or loans. In this case, we got grants, but we got loans as well. Most of the damage occurred in Cayo District along the Macal River and some along the Mopan River. Families were displaced for weeks and so much of the money used went to provide food, cleaning supplies, some for shelter, mattresses and whatever got wet, possibly small stoves, and then along the Belize River Valley where the water took about six to eight weeks to subside in some areas, it was the same. So we had to plan weeks and weeks in fact, during the Christmas season last year we had thousands and thousands of bags of food had to be delivered to the families who live along these areas. Not only there, but even along the Belama area which was flooded for weeks so we had to spend for those areas. But much of the damage, the costliest part, went to infrastructure because streets and roads were damaged on the George Price Freeway by Blackman Eddy and this area. The newly paved road in some areas was broken because it was soaked in water that came from the river and stayed there for weeks. So those were some of the areas where this money was spent and a few thousand dollars was also spent helping farm losses, so infrastructure, agriculture and food were where most. money has been spent.