Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2022. 10:05 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Government of Belize has revealed that eight years after it was first loaned US$30 million by the World Bank for a Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project, most of the money went to more urgent needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will necessitate, it said, location of additional financing opportunities to advance the original aims of the project: enhancing the resiliency of road infrastructure against flood risks and other impacts of climate change; and improving the capacity to respond promptly and effectively in an eligible crisis or emergency, as required.
A statement remarked: “The implementation of this project took six years to begin with one-third of the loan (US$10 million) disbursed solely to conduct feasibility studies within that period.”
The remaining US$20 million, with agreement from the Bank, was repurposed for immediate needs in tackling COVID including provision of relief under the Unemployment Relief Program, Food Assistance Program and others. A total of US$12 million was allocated to social protection measures and US$8 million to the agriculture sector in the form of a cash voucher for farmers.
We will seek further clarification on this issue from the relevant Government Ministries and Departments.
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