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Dec 4, 2023

Belize to Participate in IDB’s CLIMA Program

Christopher Coye

The Inter-American Development Bank (I.D.B.) announced on Saturday its CLIMA program, rewarding countries for achieving environmental goals with a 5% grant of the loan principal. The initiative aims to help nations access green and thematic debt markets for larger-scale climate and nature investments. Nine countries, including Belize, are participating in the billion dollar pilot phase. News Five caught up with Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Christopher Coye at COP28 and we asked him about this latest development.


Christopher Coye, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance

“I should speak more generally, beyond just IDB. How we have approached our multilateral development partners like the IDB, World Bank and other international financial institutions is that we have to look from a standpoint of affordability. Interest rates as you may be aware have gone up over the past couple of years across the globe and Belize is no exception to that. So, in terms of what we can borrow, what we can finance, doesn’t make sense for us to go and borrow monies unless it is an affordable rates. The approach we have taken with these IFIs is that we are interested to do certain project facilities. We are interested only if the cost of finance if affordable and the way they go about now to make that cost of finance more affordable to countries like Belize is that they blend it with grants and concessionary financing. So, in the case of the IDB there was a press release yesterday issued by IDB looking at two projects. One in particular I would like to highlight is the case of health in support of efficiency of delivery of health care and improving the effectiveness of healthcare. That is not a project that has been finalized by any stretch of the imagination. What we put to them is that had to have, wasn’t pure loan base, but had to have some concessionary components to it. So ultimately in that case, for example, roughly you are talking about thirty million dollars in finance but of that thirty million dollars only fourteen million would be from the IDB, two to three million would be grant-base and the remainder would be highly concessionary from the Korean Trust Fund. SO that when you blend it brings down the cost of capital for us in a very substantial way. So that is how we are treating with all the IFIs now. You can’t come to us and say, they all want to lend us XYZ for different projects that we see of interest but it doesn’t make sense for us unless the cost of funds is affordable for us and as a benchmark we try to keep cost of funds on a blended base below three percent.”

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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