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Mar 31, 2020

Financial Aid is Coming from the IFIs

Dean Barrow

A significant sum of money to be borrowed from at least three international financial institutions, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, CABEI, has been allocated for COVID-19 relief.  Those funds are an aggregate of roughly a hundred and forty million dollars and will, in part, also be disbursed in the health sector.  This morning, PM Barrow gave an update on the sourcing of relief funds and the approximate time it will take for those monies to be made available to government.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There is the two, two point five million from Taiwan, that’s for health.  The two million that came from CABEI, that’s for health.  There’s another loan that we’re trying to get from CABEI, that’s going to be for health.  The IDB is making thirteen million dollars, ten percent of the unspent country program, resources in the country program for Belize for this year, that’s going to be made available for health.  So you can see we’re beyond twenty million dollars and that is why I was positive yesterday that Dr. Manzanero and his team will be absolutely, adequately equipped.  Yesterday, I thought that what I said would make its way to international ears and that’s why I complained about the fact that the international financial institutions are too absorbed in terms of the funding flows they will give to us, too completely focused on the health front where we are already very much to the good.  Well, I had an extremely productive phone call with Madam Tahseen Sayed Khan who is the World Bank’s country director for the entire Caribbean and I am very pleased to be able to announce, thanking her as I do so, that in consequence of that conversation twenty-one million U.S. dollars that was part of the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project Program, twenty-one million U.S. dollars will now be diverted.  We had already been told that we can reprogram but initially the decision was that it would have to go principally to health.  All that will now be able to go for assistance to be put into the pot with the seventy-five million that we’re borrowing from the Central Bank.  That entire twenty-one million U.S. dollars will be additionally put into the pot.”

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