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Jun 29, 2022

Senate Debates COVID-19 World Bank Loan

Beverly Williams

Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Eamon Courtenay was met with objections from the Opposition side of the floor after introducing a six million U.S. dollars loan motion for Belize’s COVID-19 response. The Government of Belize has already spent most of this money. Therefore, a large portion of the loan comes as a reimbursement to the government. According to Courtenay, the remainder of the loan will be used to boost the Ministry of Health’s COVID 19 awareness campaign. Here is how temporary Opposition Senator Beverly Williams responded.


Beverly Williams, Opposition Senator

“When we come here and think it’s just something coming for the new wave of COVID. But, we say it and echo the chorus that has always been in this chamber for years. And we say it in the House of Representatives, we are borrowing again. Six million dollars, three point eight four four five hundred million of that is for purchasing of vaccines. So then, if it already spent, what was the procurement process? Who got the contract? Was it a government acquisition or was it a middle man? What happened there? Maybe that could have been provided, if the money was already spent? The remaining two point three million dollars, you see here, yes it is outlined and we just know it is already spent, purchasing of auxiliary supplies and kits. Was there a special contract? Was it procured by government? And then you see things like, another contract, acquisition of medical equipment to strengthen COVID19 case management. At eight, supporting analytical activities for evidence based decision making, and vaccine uptake and deployment? What was that? Maybe we can understand, but it seems like a jumble of words to me. But, now where we are, all I can say is spending six million dollars on a response project Madam President, when last month vaccines were expiring on us. They were hurriedly offering second boosters to us, because they were expiring. But, I was of the impression that we were buying new vaccines, or had already bought them. Were those were the expired ones.”


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