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Feb 20, 2023

Cabinet Meets with World Bank

A team of officials from the World Bank is in Belize and met earlier today with the Cabinet in Belize City. The team comprised representatives from the International Finance Corporation, I.F.C, which is the private sector arm of the bank, as well as from the bank’s International Development Association. That is a branch of the bank that offers concessionary loans and grants to less-developed countries. Belize wants to become a member of that group so that we can be considered for those types of benefits. So, today the Cabinet met with the team to discuss the prospects for Belize’s eligibility to become a member of the I.D.A and access the funding available to member countries. Minister of Education and Culture, Francis Fonseca shared with News Five how that meeting went.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture

“We have a team called the Executive Directors of the World Bank. They represent over sixty-eight different countries, and they’re here on a fact-finding mission here in Belize. So today, this morning the Cabinet had an opportunity to meet with them to respond to some of their questions and to share with them our plans and our vision and our strategies for different sectors. One of the key objectives of their visit is to determine Belize’s eligibility for participation in what they call the I.D.A., the International Development Agency. Currently, Belize does not qualify for financing on the I.D.A., but we have made a very strong and forceful argument for why we should qualify, particularly in respect of, you know, the climate resiliency challenges that we face as a, you know, we’re not a small island developing state. Normally they focus on small island developing states, but today the Prime Minister made a very forceful presentation to them, you know, to, to make the very clear, strong point, um, that we face many of the same challenges that these small island developing states face, primarily as it relate to natural disasters, erosion, you know, and all the climate change challenges that, that countries like Belize faces. So that’s one of the primary objectives of their mission here. But also generally, to strengthen Belize’s partnership with the World Bank. The World Bank has been a, a longstanding partner in Belize’s development for many, many decades, and we want to continue to, to grow the portfolio, the Belize portfolio with the World Bank. We want to focus, of course, as you all know, we now have a Ministry of the Blue Economy for. We want to make sure that, um, the work of the blue economy is considered by the World Bank as a part of their port portfolio.”


Marion Ali

“Did they have any preliminary position on the points the Cabinet brought forward?”


Francis Fonseca

“They were very receptive to it, and they said that obviously these things have to go through a process, uh, at the bank, but they believe that, um, certainly later, sometime later this year, that a final decision will be made, uh, on that specific issue of Belize’s inclusion in terms of the I.D.A financing.”

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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