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Feb 27, 2002

IDB loans funds for land project

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Belize’s land registry has been expanded and the Ministry of Natural Resources has been computerised, thanks in part to the land administration project undertaken by the ministry last year. Today, a fourteen million dollar loan was signed between the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank for part two of the project, which involves land management. Signing on behalf of the I.D.B. was country representative Hugo Souza, while Natural Resources CEO, Patricia Mendoza, and acting Prime Minister John Briceno did the honours for government.

Johnny Briceno, Acting Prime Minister

“We want to consolidate the land titles unit into one registry, the Land Registry, which would then afford efficiencies, make it easier for Belizeans to have security of land, which is very, very important; that is one issue. It is also going to assist us in working with land policy issues, working with Village Councils, working with the towns and the cities, with land planning, physical planning.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“How will lets say this fourteen million dollar loan assist maybe somebody from the village with security of tenure in terms of their land?”

Johnny Briceno

“Well how is going to be simple. When we go and declare certain areas of the country… For instance we want to start with the Corozal District, we have already determined that we want to do Corozal simply because when this whole project started with the land registry in the late 60s early 70s, they stared in Corozal and did not finish. We want to go in there and declare all the rest of the district. The people in there who’s land has not been surveyed, we are going to assist them in the surveying of that land and it’s all going to be incorporated into the loom. As we go into other areas, for example Belize City, we have a lot of problems, especially the older part of Belize City, like in the Albert, Mesop, those areas where people are just living on parcels of land, that they’ve been living there for fifty years and yet they have no documents to produce. We plan to be working in these areas where we hope to assist them with also getting their documents.”

The funds will also be used to support land policy reform. The loan has a repayment period of twenty-five years at a variable interest rate.

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