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Sep 27, 2018

$1 Million in CARSI-ESF Grants for Belize

The U.S. Government has awarded over a million U.S. dollars to the four organizations through the CARSI-ESF programme. Since 2008, over seven million U.S. dollars been awarded to various N.G.O.s.  Today’s funding is just one part of over forty million U.S. dollars awarded through the CARSI programme to Belize. The focus of the 2018 disbursement is for good governance projects. News Five’s Andrea Polanco attended today’s ceremony in Belmopan and tells us more about how the organizations will be using the monies they received.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Four organizations were awarded over one million USD dollars in grant to carry out two year projects to enhance good governance in Belize. Today, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Keith Gilges signed over the grants to the recipients, awarded through the Central American Regional Security Initiative –Economic Support Fund (CARSI-ESF).

 

Keith Gilges

Keith Gilges, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires

“Here in Belize, we are focusing on building citizen participation in the over side of Government, reducing corruption and making Government accountable. To that end, we asked our 2018 grant nominees to focus on at least one of two objectives, to strengthen civil society organizations and civil servants knowledge and skills to develop policies and procedures in reducing corruption and impunity and improving accountability.”

 

Humana People to People is one of the recipients. Their grant of three hundred seventy thousand US dollars will help to strengthen emergency and disaster response in thirty vulnerable communities in southern Belize.

 

Ishelly Williams

Ishelly Williams, Partnership and Promotions Officer, Humana People to People

“The project will purchase and install early warning equipment, base radios, search and rescue equipment and gear and first aid kits. These activities will provide equipment and material that are necessary for selected communities.   The project will design/improve training curriculums for early warning systems, radios and first responders, including first aid. It will establish, strengthen the village emergency committees and train communities in early warning systems. It will train first responders in first aid and train communities in search and rescue. It will also conduct follow up search and rescue trainings. In partnership with NEMO, the project will upgrade each community’s hurricane plan to a multi-hazard operational plan. And upgrade the village emergency plans to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each person in the event of a disaster.”

 

The Florida University was granted two hundred and seventy-five thousand USD dollars. They will be working with local partner TIDE; while a sum of three hundred  ten thousand two hundred and fifty six US dollars was awarded to the Research Triangle Institute International, who is partnering with the Belize Association of Planners.

 

Joseph Villafranco

Joseph Villafranco, Programme Manager, TIDE

“One of the biggest issues we have found in our experience is that every-time you want to get civil society and communities to engage meaningfully in anything, they have to have the capacity. That is a big challenge for us, so the first thing that we need to do is really build the capacity of all these civil society organizations that they are able to engage meaningfully in a number of things. TIDE as the local partner will be doing a lot of the ground work here in Belize with the civil society organizations.”

 

Wayne Pitts

Dr. Wayne Pitts, RTI International

“We will work, trained by the SIB, supervise by the SIB, and we will amplify their ability to do the enumeration in Belize City. So, what we will do actually is to be able to look at a particular apartment building and have a building footprint and be able to analyze, provide data from the census at that unit of analysis, at any unit of analysis. So, then we can therefore overlay crime data, for example, on specific neighborhoods, on specific blocks, on specific buildings. This has never been done before in Belize and other countries are trending in this direction to be able to do more refined analyses of census data; so this is really our goal.”

 

The fourth recipient is the Love Foundation, awarded two hundred eighty-eight thousand U.S. dollars to execute an anti-corruption project among the public service, civil society and other groups. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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