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Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2018. 12:58 pm CST.

By BBN Staff:  On a recent trip to Panama, Belize’s Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management, Edmond Castro, met and spoke with Panama’s President, Juan Carlos Varela and Vice President, Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado.

Castro was in Panama for the inauguration, on November 19, of the Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance (CLRAH), a logistics platform that will facilitate the collection, handling, storage and redistribution of supplies and equipment, and the mobilization of human resources for an efficient management of humanitarian assistance in the face of national and international emergencies.

President Varela was keynoter speaker at the ceremony inaugurating the regional center.

Speaking with the Panamanian president at a luncheon which took place after the official ceremony, Castro congratulated and thanked him and his country for taking the lead in establishing and hosting this most vital institution as the hub in the region for the efficient management of humanitarian assistance in times of disaster.

President Varela thanked Castro for his kind words of appreciation and said his country is happy to participate and assist in this endeavour in partnership with Belize and other countries and organizations in the region.

The Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance is located in Panama Pacífico, on six hectares of land with three warehouses with a capacity of 12 thousand square meters of storage, administrative buildings, parking, areas for cargo handling and control.

President Varela noted that the earthquake with a magnitude 7 on the Richter scale that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 2010 and the role played by Panama, utilizing its geographical position to send national and international aid there, prompted him to propose the creation of this hub.

“As a result of that experience, I proposed the creation in Panama of a center for the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid, which would allow the necessary aid to reach the places affected by this type of emergency in the shortest possible time. Since then we have been working on this project,” President Varela explained.

 

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