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Sep 25, 2012

The economic indicators of living in the south

In this segment of Economic Indicators, the Great Belize Research Center, looks at specific factors relating to the southernmost district which is not only delineated by its geographical distance, but is defined by grave economic indicators.  Unofficial figures put the poverty level of the country at a rate between forty to forty-nine percent.  Toledo has the highest poverty rate, the highest unemployment, the highest illiteracy rate, and the lowest average income. From the census figures in 2000, the population of Toledo increased by thirty-one percent or seven thousand, two hundred and eighty-nine new residents to a total of thirty thousand, five hundred and thirty-eight. In recent years, millions of dollars have been pumped in poverty alleviation, including in the Toledo District.  If we look at the budget for the fiscal year 2011/2012; at least two point five million dollars was allocated for food and cost of living expenses; four million was used for the Conditional Cash Transfer initiative, five million to support Child Care initiatives; and four point four million dollars for home improvements and home repairs for low income families.   That’s fifteen million dollars set aside for programs providing direct assistance to the poor and the socially marginalized.

In this year’s fiscal budget we found that some thirty-three point one million dollars has been allocated for poverty alleviation programs. The question therefore is why, after all these millions of dollars, is there still a staggering forty to forty-nine percent or close to half of the population living in poverty? And importantly, why is it that Toledo yet remains the district with the highest poverty rate and the most depressing economic indicators? In Part Two, we will look at some of these economic indicators; which show that from having a toilet, to having a kitchen or drinking water are challenges in the south.

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11 Responses for “The economic indicators of living in the south”

  1. Storm says:

    The failure of these costly and wasteful poverty-reduction HANDOUTS to achieve their purpose — reducing poverty in our poorest area — is irrefutable proof that the entire approach is wrong.

    Handouts may create dependency and purchase votes, but only jobs eliminate poverty and human suffering on a permanent basis. Only jobs create real prosperity and hope.

    Some day, some national leader, some political party must address why almost nobody invests in Belize despite the abundant unused resources we possess. For example, in agriculture alone, we have plenty of fine, untilled land that could grow bountiful crops and create plenty of jobs with a little investment in modern farming technology. International farming companies invest that way all over the world, why not right here?

    To answer that question we have only to look at and thank PUP and UDP, neither of which has ever developed and implemented a coherent national strategy to attract foreign capital in a meaningful, nationwide, and sustained way. [Unless, of course, you count the encouragement GOB traditionally offers to drug cartels and international fugitive tourism.]

    What do you think?

  2. Bear says:

    Let’s not forget the Superbond issue. Even though it is out of the headlines, the problem is still unresolved.

    When it was in the headlines last week, some comments were made that we should follow Argentina’s path, which also has a problem paying what is borrowed.

    Here is a link to an article from today that discusses how Argentina’s “deadbeat strategy” is on the verge of causing a suicidal national economic collapse. Worth reading and considering the point of view of the creditor nations and banks.

    http://news.yahoo.com/argentine-leader-challenges-critics-us-150413699.html

  3. aldo says:

    How do you measure poverty???? In Toledo those people are self sustained and rarely do we hear crime happening there. And to the government “stop making people become too dependent on the government. Teach them how to catch their own fish.”

  4. Lewis says:

    There is a good reason why the United States is the most powerful nation on earth: rule of law.

    The rule of law includes paying the country’s debts.

    The USA has never ever defaulted on its debt obligations. Even during the Civil War, and both World Wars, the USA continued paying her debts.

  5. Chenco says:

    Getting help from neighbors and get dependent on gifts and getting that Belizean i -am -entitled -to attitude is BAD.

    Being provided with jobs which in many cases is just a temporary relief is GOOD.

    Being inventive , being willing to dream strong and aiming for job creation ourselves is MUCH BETTER.
    Every Belizean should make a goal to one day provide job to at least one person. Simply having that concept in our hearts will change our Jewel. We are talking about forming a positive individual character that would eventually lead to a BELIZE WITH A NEW POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND A BETTER ECONOMY .

  6. PG bwai says:

    The Toledo district is the most self sustaining district in the country. They are largely neglected by the government, hence the nickname, “the forgotten District.” However people are peaceful, they help one another, The are the most traditional. Why is it that Dangriga is called the culture capital????

  7. Seletar says:

    Wow, all great and thoughtful comments here. I think I would vote for every one of the people who made comments here today if they ran for anything from PM to . . . well, anything. They display better views than anyone in office here today.

  8. Initiate! says:

    Good point Aldo,

    Just because Toledo doesn’t have a lifestyle like Belize City (not to mention the many murders…hah) does it mean that Toledo is ‘poor’.

    The quality of a person’s thinking/mentality is the primary indicator of ‘poverty’. Though Toledo may be perceived as lower on this scale too, you won’t help it with ‘handouts’.

    Handouts feeds another ugly deadly cancer in society – already far too prevalent and common in Belize!

  9. belizean says:

    Lewis I don’t know what the hell you are talking about the USA pays its debts, they are 16 trillion dollars in debt (Hello), and besides the topic is about Belize, please get real and to hell with the USA, focus pan unu country and nobody else

  10. Juan says:

    politics is the answer… every single form of assistance is controlled by politician..giving to those who do not deserve it!

  11. Coc says:

    Amazing how GOB can report this and still many so called development projects to target poverty with the same failed models…anyone want to debate the Belize JSDF Improving Children’s Health and Nutrition in Local Mayan Communities? Amazing how little is known of this, they just slipped it in quietly and appointed a coordinator ….am not holding my breath, none of this money will ever benefit even a little the Maya children! I am insulted that they even write the world bank to say they want to help our sick children when they continue to deny us and our existence as worthy citizens of Belize! So the break down is like this US$2,752,894 million comes direct for the project grant, US$240,000 provided for the World Bank as grant supervision….how much goes directly to reduce poverty for the Maya???or Make healthier Maya children …what a joke!

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