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Dec 3, 2021

Belize Getting Back Funds Used for Flooding

During today’s meeting, Prime Minister John Briceño rose to explain that the Caribbean Development Bank was in the process of refunding five million dollars that his Government had used soon after taking office to repair roads and infrastructure. These were compromised by Hurricanes Etta and Iota in the latter part of 2020.  Leader of the Opposition and Collet Area Representative, Patrick Faber, asked for an accounting of how the funds were spent, to which Minister of Infrastructure Development, Julius Espat responded.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“This is a loan for two point five million dollars US, but basically it is just a refund for monies that we spent during the emergency for Hurricanes Iota and Etta when we had entire large – miles and miles of areas under water. Whilst we spent the money, the CDB said that we can spend it and then once we show them that we’ve spent the money they were going to refund it, so basically that’s all that we’re doing. All we’re going to do is refund for monies that we have already spent, based on a loan.”


Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition

“What we cannot understand, Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister’s continuous position, along with that of his Government and in particular, his Minister of Infrastructure Development, who was a stalwart for calling out the UDP when they were in Government for transparency and accountability. So if you’ve spent all of this money to fix the infrastructure that was damaged by these two hurricanes, let us be accountable to the people.”


Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development

“Mr. Speaker, we gave the Contractor General a complete report of the twelve point five million dollars that was spent for the emergency spending. Your agent, Mr Jules Vasquez, yes Leader of the Opposition because it seems that you speak to him and he is your main advisor. I am saying this because you mentioned it. Your main advisor did request from us the report. We were advised by the Contractor General. Mr Vasquez was also advised by the Contractor General. He was requesting from our Ministry that our report not be made public until the Contractor General could submit his report. The Contractor General has now submitted his report and therefore, the document that we provided will be made public.”

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.

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