A team lead by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean carried out a mission to hurricane-struck Belize, to provide support to the Government in its effort to undertake comprehensive assessment of the impact of Hurricane Earl which hit in early August 2016, and to assist in the formulation of recommendations for recovery and reconstruction.
The team included experts from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).
Hurricane Earl hit several towns, including San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, Ladyville, Belize River Valley, Orange Walk and Belmopan, causing infrastructure and building damage, while many roads and streets were blocked due to inland and coastal flooding.
Members of the team visiting some of these towns made field visits to marine areas in San Pedro and Caye Caulker, inspected housing and water works in Belize City, and assessed the damage to roads and agriculture, as well as to forested areas. To determine the most appropriate path to providing recovery assistance, the field visits were followed by discussions with official representatives from various government offices, including the agencies and ministries of Agriculture, Housing, Transportation, Education and Telecommunications. Following from these meetings, ECLAC plans to conduct training in disaster assessment in Belize during 2017.
An acknowledged regional leader in disaster assessment, ECLAC’s mission to Belize forms part of the Commission's ongoing effort to strengthen the capacity of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to undertake disaster assessment, to determine their own recovery and reconstruction path, and to incorporate measures to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience.