GOVERNMENT MUST OFFER URGENT ASSISTANCE TO THE BANANA INDUSTRY

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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL

Friday, September 4, 2020 

The entire nation must give thanks that we were spared much of the wrath of Hurricane Nana. Coupled with the disaster that is the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of the hurricane could easily have been catastrophic.

Party Leader John Briceño and the People’s United Party express our support for  and solidarity with those in the South of the country who did suffer damage,  whether to infrastructure or to crops. We note with concern the damage to banana plantations, as preliminary indications are that banana growers lost close to 40% of their crops. This will translate immediately to the loss of critical foreign exchange and employment for many, at a time when we simply cannot afford any more losses on the economic front.

While we await the results of a proper and official assessment, we call on the government to immediately provide whatever assistance is necessary to bolster this industry. This cannot be a replay of the situation with our farmers in the North who are still awaiting drought relief promised to them since September 2019. We additionally call on the government to utilize NEMO and other relevant agencies in the South to provide fast assistance to all those who suffered losses. At this time, even minimal losses are untenable to Belizeans already struggling to survive.

–Ends–