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World Bank to loan Belize $16 million for COVID-19 relief

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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2020. 11:06 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Some 5,372 farmers will benefit from $500 in cash transfers for small farmers funded by a loan of US $8 million (BZ$16 million) from the World Bank, Minister of Food and Agriculture Godwin Hulse has announced.

This includes some 2,500 female farmers, which the Government especially aims to support.

The Minister said it was vital to establish a registry of farmers which helped in negotiations with the Bank, and no one will be discriminated against by politics or otherwise.

The majority being affected is small and medium farmers; a further BZ $50 million from the Bank will be made available for larger farmers to institute climate-smart policies.

Of this, $7 million will be made available for farmers to address market contraction – loss of markets directly due to COVID-19; another $4.7 million for drought, mainly in the sugar cane and vegetable industries in the North, Central and West; and $2.7 million for other financial support and half a million for support to cooperatives for post-harvest management. All of the money with exception of direct cash transfers will be done through a voucher system.

More coming up.

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