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Mar 2, 2023

Belize Benefits from Ten-million-dollar Compact Development Funding

The governments of Belize and the United States, along with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, M.C.C., a U.S. government agency, signed a Compact Development Funding Grant Agreement on Wednesday evening. M.C.C compacts are five-year grant programs that aim to reduce poverty by increasing economic growth. Belize had submitted two concept papers to the corporation that described the strategic approach that the government would like to undertake through a compact program to address in areas of education and energy. For education, the government wants to increase the opportunity for more post-primary graduates to access to secondary education, while transforming teaching and learning, and reducing skills gaps in key growth industries. In terms of the electricity project, the aim is to reduce the cost of electricity by improving governance capacity and supporting Belize to implement its renewable energy expansion plans. Through this agreement, Belize receives a ten million-dollar grant from the U.S as that country’s Ambassador to Belize, Michelle Kwan and Deputy Vice President for the D.F.C Operations in Latin America, Jonathan Brooks shared with News Five.


Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan, U.S. Ambassador to Belize

“Today’s signing is very exciting – ten million dollars from the U.S. Government to the Government of Belize to support the Millennium Challenge  Corporation Compact and this is the Development Compact Fund, so it is a grant and not a loan and focused on two sectors: energy and education.”


Jonathan Brooks

Jonathan Brooks, Deputy V.P., for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America, D.F.C. Operations

“The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. Government agency that is very selective about the places in which we work, and Belize was selected because of the performance that relative to its peers, it has in issues of governance, in investing in its people, as well as economic freedom. Our board made that selection and it is from there that we have started the Compact Development process. We are now about a year into that Compact Development process. This ten-million-dollar grant that the ambassador noted is part of helping us work together to develop it further. Once we complete the design of the program and understand, you know, more specifically how we will use, you know, what we will do in the program, we will arrive at a final amount that we hope to sign next year in order to address these two sectors that I spoke about. Back in January, 2022, our team started working together after Belize was selected to identify what we consider to be the key constraints to growth in Belize. And it was through that very rigorous analytical process, in very close partnership with a great team of dedicated Belizeans, sponsored by the government of Belize that we have arrived at the two constraints that the ambassador noted: electricity, particularly the high cost of electricity, as well as education. So we are working to design programs jointly with Belize to address those key issues.”


Michelle Kwan

“What I find very fascinating with the Compact selection process as well as the development of the Compact, is how specialized and focused it is and listening and hearing the challenges that Belize faces and having systemic change in finding the hinders of economic growth. So, I’m giving it an applause for the efforts of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Compact and what it hopes to do in this country because it is a real game changer.”

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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