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Belize to benefit from multi-million-dollar grant funding provided by Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)

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Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2022. 5:33 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Government anticipates Belize gaining between US$200 and US$500 million in grant funding to aid in the nation’s economic development after Belize was one of only two countries chosen to receive that aid from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

The independent United States Government foreign aid agency supports micro, small, and medium enterprises in its effort to reduce poverty through growth. A statement from Cabinet says “Belize was chosen by the MCC Board having been satisfied that the current administration is committed to ruling justly, investing in the development of its people and its economic policy.”

The MCC-funded projects are expected to commence in 2023 and last for a period of five years. MCC awards countries based on the principle that aid is most effective when it is reinforced by good governance.

The MCC conducted an assessment of the government in three categories – Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom. In the first category, Belize was well rated in freedom of information (84), control of corruption (68), civil liberties (90), and political rights (81), and lesser rated in government effectiveness and rule of law, both 29 percent.

In the area of Investing in People, Belize scored well in five of six categories, ranking below the median only in rate of immunization.

In the area of economic freedom, Belize rated poorly in fiscal policy, regulatory quality, trade policy, and land rights and access.

This is the first MCC assessment conducted since 2013 when Belize had gotten a failing grade as the government had not passed in controlling corruption, adhering to democratic rights, and did not perform well in more than fifty of the sub-categories. Prime Minister John Briceño stated that the scorecard is welcome news for the country.

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