Multimillion Dollar Poverty Alleviation Project Launched by Belize

 

A BZ$30 million poverty-alleviation project by the Ministry of Economic Development in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is now being implemented by the country’s Social Investment Fund (SIF).

The US$15 million project – which will finance a number of poverty alleviation projects throughout the country – will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF).

A three-member delegation from CDB, headed by Deidre Clarendon, portfolio manager of the CDB’s Social Sector Division, joined Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, in launching the Second CDB Loan for SIF Projects during an official ceremony on the morning of Friday 4th February, 2011, in Belmopan. The launching was due to be followed by a one one-day workshop on CDB procurement policy and implementation procedures.

The one-day workshop included the participation of staff from the Social Investment Fund, the SIF Board of Directors and a wide range of community-based, non-governmental and private organizations.

Under the new loan agreement, it is estimated that 110 new small-scale community projects will be funded and selected on a demand driven basis with active participation of community groups, Non-governmental agencies (NGOs), Village Councils, Alcaldes, Line Ministries and communities of interest.

Approximately 35% of the funds allocated for projects will be go towards Water and Sanitation projects, 25% will go towards the implementation of projects in the Education Sector; 15% will go towards projects in the Health Sector; 10 % will be allocated for projects in the Social Services Sector, and the remaining 9% and 6% will go toward projects in the areas of Economic Infrastructure and Organizational Strengthening respectively.

“Notwithstanding, the financial challenges lying ahead of us in these critical times, the Government is committed to find the much needed resources to generate employment, stimulate the national economy, address poverty and the basic needs of all Belizeans countrywide,” Contreras said.

He added, “It is gratifying to see that there are organizations such as CDB that have confidence in Belize. This is because the government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow believes and is guided by sound policies such as honesty, transparency and good governance.”

He noted that during the “first CDB loan Belize secured BZ$12.0 million in funding for poverty alleviation projects. The second loan more than doubles that amount. Therefore, the launching, besides being historic, also underscores the strong relationship between the government and its social partners in development.”

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