Belize to receive US$2.4 million in grants from CDF
The prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow and the chief executive officer of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), Lorne McDonnough, signed an agreement in Belize City recently for two grant agreements: US$2.3 million for the construction of the new Haulover Bridge, a key conduit of the Northern Highway; and US$162,000 to support energy efficiency projects for the private sector.
The CDF’s grant contribution for the construction of the new Haulover Bridge estimated to cost US$9.0 million in total will be co-financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the government of Belize. The other grant will be managed by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and disbursed to firms to retrofit their operations and install solar power generation to make them energy efficient and competitive.
The prime minister, in welcoming the commitment of the CDF to Belize’s development, underscored the trail being blazed with the first co-financing initiative between the CDF and the CDB. He also recalled the three other CDF-funded projects in Belize. This included a concessionary loan with a grant component to the DFC.
In addition, he identified two separate grant components aimed at promoting the business application of green technology and raising the capacity of the Government to better manage projects.
Speaking to the importance of the CDF’s CAPs, McDonnough noted, “These projects answered the question of the relevance of CARICOM and its institutions in a tangible way beyond the lofty words of the Treaty of Chaguaramas.”
He intimated that these strategic interventions transform member states in a manner that impacts the ordinary citizen and expressed the desire to participate in other collaborative activities between the CDF and development partners.
Barrow, in his final remarks, noted the CEO’s imminent departure and thanked him for his “stellar service” to the region. He hoped his services would be available to region in a different capacity in the future.