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Oct 1, 2015

Boots Clarifies Use of OPEC Funds for Southside Poverty Alleviation

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

In his Independence Day speech, the Prime minister of Belize announced that thirty-seven million dollars will be spent for Phase Two of the South Side Poverty Alleviation Program that falls under the ministry of Port Loyola area rep., Anthony “Boots” Martinez. Martinez clarified today that those monies, which are being provided through a loan from the OPEC Fund, will be facilitated through the Ministry of Works, for which he once held the portfolio. The funds will be used for improvement of streets and drains; land reclamation; new homes, education and social development. Martinez says that about four thousand persons within south side of Belize City are expected to benefit from this program that will roll out through the next two and a half years.


Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Poverty Alleviation

“It’s an OPEC Loan with government counter funding of which we deal with training, landfill, housing and we have an educational component.  That must be submitted to the OPEC Funds; the recipients of who will be getting a house, who all with be getting landfill and that has to go to Vienne, Austria for approval. This project has been waiting for over three years. I think if you can recall the prime minister I think two different times, signaled in his Independence Day Speech, the start of the OPEC South Side Poverty Alleviation project phase two. And so it is here now…it won’t be finished before the elections. This will take about two and a half years to spend. It is an ongoing project because everything needs to be properly accounted for: photographs have to be taken before and after, the recipients have to fill out an application form, the approval has to come from Vienne, Austria…”


Duane Moody

“So how many persons will be benefitting from this sir?”


Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“I would say over four thousand people in terms of a program like this overall. And then furthermore to that, that is through the Ministry of Works… I was the signatory to phase two as the former Minister of Works; we signed that second phase two from the year 2010 and so we get approval now. But dah noh money that we can spent one lick; dah noh money weh we could just grab and spend…it has to be accounted for program wise and dah noh no money that can be spent in bulk. In otherwise, from that South Side Poverty Alleviation Project, you would say ninety percent of the finances will have to be spent after the next elections.”

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