Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, People & Places, Social Issues » M.O.U. is Signed to Provide Services to Refugee Youth
Jul 23, 2021

M.O.U. is Signed to Provide Services to Refugee Youth

For some migrants from Central American countries, Belize is to them what the U.S. is to Belizeans – a safe haven where economic opportunities seem endless. But when families are fleeing their country to save their own lives, sometimes they need to access social services.  So today, an M.O.U. was signed to ensure that over eight hundred migrant minors who are now in Belize have access to youth services.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Youth and UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It is a first step that allows for migrant children who have sought asylum in Belize to have access to youth services offered by G.O.B. through various agencies and departments.


Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Youth

“This has been in the making from the very get-go when we took over this ministry. I know the director got into contact with the UNHCR and they themselves reached out to the Department of Youth Services in wanting to collaborate. There are lot of needs in this country and there are a lot of young people who come to this country seeking services. And what more beneficial is that the Department of Youth Services take on this to ensure that those people who are refugees in this country and as asylum seekers who have had terrible experiences in their own country come to Belize. They look at Belize as a fresh start and so what we are doing here today is to ensure that we offer that commitment to ensure that we are going to be able to provide services to all young Belizeans who are looking for support, but also to those young refugees and asylum seekers that come to our country, wanting the services that we offer.”


There are currently two thousand four hundred persons registered as refugees and asylum seekers in Belize. Among them are minors, primarily from Central America.


Renee Cuijpers

Renee Cuijpers, Deputy Regional Representative, UNHCR

“…to work together on different programs, projects, initiatives targeting youth, targeting young people, refugee youth and asylum seekers; we are talking about persons who are forced to flee and are looking for protection in another country. They are obliged to flee to save their lives; in this case, people who are coming to Belize and looking for safe haven in Belize, but also and as equally important, working together with host communities and Belizeans who are receiving these people and the Belizean youth. So it is really about protection services, access to services, awareness and capacity building, but also the promotion of community-based initiatives which will help communities and will give young people a chance to continue and strengthening their skills –recognising of course that young people have a lot of potential.”


With support from UNHCR, the Ministry of Youth will carry out a number of activities to enhance the many services it offers.


Kevin Bernard

“We want to work on completing our youth needs assessment survey; so I want to thank UNHCR for offering us that support so that we could look at this thing holistically where we are addressing the needs of our young people. There will be a lot of data collection exercise. There is going to be capacity building in terms of the service area – the conflict and behaviour modification services – the team will be able to build capacity. So there are a lot of in-house training that will take place. But also, the fact is that we are saying that we want to ensure that these people who seek these services are able to get these services. That’s the commitment we are offering in this M.O.U.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed