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Belize explores an integrated approach to improve financing for sustainable development

Posted: Wednesday, January 24, 2024. 10:39 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Over 40 personnel from the public and private sectors as well as development agencies participated in a three-day technical workshop to improve development financing and planning towards accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate objectives.

 This is being considered through the implementation of the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) approach in Belize based on national priorities and experience from other countries.

The workshop was convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRCO) with technical leadership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment and Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.

First introduced by the United Nations (UN) Member States in the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the INFF is a planning and delivery tool that builds greater collaboration between various sectors by aligning and strengthening the government’s financing policies at the national level. It brings together the full range of public, private, domestic, and international financial sources to increase investment, manage risks, and achieve sustainable priorities.

“By reviewing the INFF approach, Belize continues to explore how to bridge the gap between national development plans and the financial resources available to implement these plans,” said Ian King, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

“Now, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It is up to the country to take ownership of the framework by contextualizing it to the country setting and collaborating with key stakeholders, sectors, and policymakers. We, as the partners, are here to provide that technical support needed to move the country to more sustainable structures, processes, and mechanisms,” King added.

With more than 85 countries currently implementing their own INFFs, the Government of Belize first expressed interest last year in exploring its value-added for Belize, particularly in supporting Horizon 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Plan Belize Medium-Term Development Strategy (MTDS) and the Climate Finance Strategy in support of the implementation of Belize’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

“Small states like Belize rely on international cooperation to address the challenges that directly impact and underpin Belize’s national development,” expressed H.E. Amalia Mai, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

“It presents an opportunity for our partners in development, financing institutions, government agencies, private sector and civil society organizations to critically assess a tool like the INFF to map how national strategies regarding climate change will be financed and implemented” Mai added.

UNDP noted that by bringing together actors and policy frameworks across public and private finance, designing an INFF can help Belize overcome the challenges of effective public finance and monetary policy, leveraging private financing for investment and resilient economic growth while ensuring debt sustainability.

“The Ministry of Sustainable Development has experience in this type of approach,” shared Dr. Kenrick Williams, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.

“In 2016, we implemented the Bio-Diversity Finance Initiative which helped us to be more strategic in resources as well as developing finance solutions. It’s how we’re using those resources and how we are targeting those resources – if they are adequately repurposed and adequately invested then we can have the kind of impacts that we’re seeking,” Williams added.

The conclusion of the workshop aims to develop a common understanding of Belize’s priorities for moving forward with its INFF to finance the goals set out under Horizon 2030, PlanBelize, Belize’s NDC, and the 2030 agenda.

 

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