Posted: Monday, July 4, 2022. 12:47 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The United States Embassy in Belize hosted its Independence Day Reception on June 30, 2022, in Belmopan.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, Leyla Moses-Ones highlighted the U.S. and Belize’s partnerships during COVID-19 as well as their bilateral support with Belize in agriculture, security, and education.
Moses- Ones said that in the longest-running bilateral partnership, Belize and the U.S. have worked together since 1977 to protect Belize’s agriculture industry from the Mediterranean fruit fly.
In addition, Moses- Ones shared that the U.S. Development Finance Corporation underwrote Belize’s Blue Bond restructuring last year with over $600 million in political risk insurance, making it possible for Belize to alleviate its national debt while supporting the expansion of Belizean marine conservation efforts.
Moses- Ones affirmed that in the past year, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Assistance Program has funded millions of dollars in projects reaching thousands of Belizeans in vulnerable communities through the donation of medical supplies and equipment, free medical clinics for those seeking care, the construction of school buildings that also double as hurricane shelters, expanding fire safety capabilities, and many other initiatives to build disaster readiness and response.
“Through our programs to provide sustainable and equitable economic opportunities for underserved communities, we have sponsored a series of entrepreneurial training programs that have provided seed money to budding entrepreneurs and have assisted reformed gang members in creating new startups in high-crime areas in Belize City so they can develop legitimate and mainstreamed businesses that take them out of crime and serve as a beacon of hope to others seeking to exit the vicious cycle of retributive violence. We have provided financial literacy training to 110 Southside Belize City primary school students to provide them with a solid foundation to achieve their lifetime financial goals,” Moses- Ones further added.
Moses- Ones thanked the team at the U.S. Embassy who work daily to ensure that the United States and Belize are successfully partnering to secure the border, confront irregular migration, stop human trafficking and smuggling, mitigate climate change, confront corruption, and address other regional and global challenges together.
In relation to democracy, Moses- Ones asserted that Belize is “ a shining example of democracy in a challenging region with concerning political trends that tilt toward authoritarianism.”
Moses- Ones said that the theme for the celebration was ‘Freedom and Lands of the Free’.
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