Belize Red Cross receives donation for 'Dean' relief efforts
The Belize Red Cross (BRC) has received a substantial donation to help communities affected by the passage of Hurricane Dean.

The donation of US$100,000 ($200,000 Belize dollars) was made to the BRC by the OAK Foundation and the Parker Family, with the support of the Association of Protected Areas Management Organisation (APAMO), a network of NGO's in Belize that focus on conservation of costal area communities and livelihoods particularly related to the fishing and farming in these areas.

Speaking at the brief cheque-presentation ceremony at the BRC headquarters in Belize City on September 6, BRC president Karen Diaz said: ''This donation is greatly welcome and appreciated. It will assist the Belize Red Cross to assist families who were affected by Hurricane Dean This will be linked to the on-going Community Disaster Risk Reduction programme which assists communities to identify challenges and find local solutions to be better prepared for, and respond to, future disasters when livelihoods are put at risk''.

Witnessing the handing over were chairman of the BRC's Disaster Management committee, Kevin Castillo, BRC office administrator Lizet Aldana, and Thomas Doyle, Disaster Management delegate from the Federation's Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU). Members of the media were also present.

The OAK Foundation has requested that costal areas in the Corozal district should benefit from the funds particularly the communities in Progresso, Chunox, Copper Bank and Sarteneja.

The BRC will target more than 400 families in these areas in addition to the 500 families already being assisted in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts through the International Federation's Hurricane Dean Appeal.

BRC volunteers will conduct house-to-house assessments to identify the most affected families, while APAMO volunteers will assist with the distribution.

In Belize, approximately 2,500 families have been affected by Dean. The districts of Corozal and Orange Walk, plus the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Calker experienced some damage.

Electricity infrastructure was down and water systems inoperable in affected areas soon after the passage of the powerful hurricane.