UNICEF Belize Humanitarian Situation Report # 2, 9 August 2016

Situation Report
Originally published



  • According to the Government, approximately 10,000 people have lost their homes and require humanitarian assistance • 164 people remain in shelters, almost half are in Belize City.

  • Water systems are being restored, however, some rural areas in the Belize district are operating with generators due to lack of electricity.

  • Flooding remains a concern in many areas such as the Cayo District and Belize River Valley as rivers and dams remain at high levels.

  • Damage to houses, utilities, agriculture and tourism industry.

  • UNICEF Belize along with PAHO/WHO plans to strengthen the WASH coordination mechanisms and is in close communication with the government and other partners to identify potential areas of support based on an ongoing needs assessment and following official requests from the national authorities.

  • Preliminary assessments show that losses from Earl are estimated to exceed BZ$220 million (some US$110 million).

  • Additional US$124,900 requested from UNICEF by the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, and Rural Development to support the clean-up efforts in Belize City • UNICEF is supporting the Government of Belize with 350 family/hygiene kits and has requested $50,000USD to support the cleaning efforts and to efforts in WASH

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

According to NEMO, relief efforts are still ongoing after Hurricane Earl ripped through Belize as a category 1 hurricane on 4 August. The Government continues to provide immediate relief to the affected people. Some 10,000 people have been directly or indirectly affected. There are 164 people remaining in shelters, almost half of these are in the Belize district, which was hit the hardest. The focus also remains on restoring critical lifeline facilities, ensuring operational normalcy at all ports, and assessing agriculture, fisheries, transportation, utilities, communication, infrastructure, housing, cultural, and environmental situation.

The Hurricane affected primarily Belize City, Belize Rural, Orange Walk, Cayo, and the Stann Creek districts. NEMO has much concern over the serious sufferings endured by thousands of Belizeans and the devastation of homes, businesses, government and private buildings. Major infrastructure and building damage, many roads and streets are blocked in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, and Ladyville, Belize River Valley, Orange Walk, Belmopan and other affected areas.

The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO), the Police and eventually the Belize Defense Force (BDF), responded to over 100 search and rescue requests under extremely dangerous conditions in the middle of the Hurricane. Neighbour to neighbour assistance and care giving, highlighted the Belizean spirit of in the face of danger.

Roofing and broken lumber, down trees, electrical wires, splinters and nails are strewn all over the San Pedro, Caye Caulker Cayes, Belize City, Ladyville, Lords Bank and River Valley where there is considerable damage.

NEMO is now responding to flash flooding in the Cayo District. Communities along the Macal and Mopan River must seek higher ground immediately. All dams are at flood stage and people are encouraged to seek access to shelters if they are in low lying areas.

Additionally, the Prime Minister of Belize addressed the public on Thursday, 4th August 2016 to indicate that he is aware that there are thousands of affected persons in the Belize District, including San Pedro, Caye Caulker as well as parts of Cayo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk. The Prime Minister has also named Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, to be the focal point for all recovery coordination.

Based on NEMO’s indicators and assessments in the field it is anticipated that damages will exceed BZ$220m. Indicators for agriculture show possible devastating impacts in one of the main agricultural belt. Agricultural and housing sector losses are conservatively estimated at $70m without assessed values of damages/losses in the public utilities, tourism, and fisheries sectors.