By Benjamin Flowers
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) this week gave funds to the Development Finance Corporation to launch a new development project, which will benefit hundreds of Belizeans.
DFC received a loan amounting to US $10.5 million and a grant of US $860,000 to be used for loans to the productive sector, including micro-enterprises; loans for home mortgages loans for students.and projects for renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
The money was released to the DFC on Tuesday at the CDB-DFC project launch workshop in Belize City.
When the project is completed in 2016, it should have benefitted 50 micro, small, and medium size enteprises (MSMEs); 200 students and 150 lower/ middle-income households.
The project has specific targetted outcomes over the next four years. These include increasing the number of skilled graduates from poor households, improving the standard of living for low and lower-middle income families, increasing economic production and employment through the private sector; and increasing awareness and use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“This new loan of $10.5million is a continuation of CDB’s support and it is noteworthy that this one is goes direct to the DFC following an independent consultant’s assessment that this new DFC conforms to current best practices with respect to the implementation of good corporate governance measures,” said Deidre Clarendon CDB’s Social Sector Division Chief.
She added that the project is consistent with the CDB’s development mandate, pointing out that the bank has supported national development priorities of the Government and people of Belize with more than US$400 million in loan and grant funding over the past four decades.
A team from CDB was in Belize for two days, working with the Ministry of Finance; the Board of Directors, management, and staff of DFC; and other key stakeholders to tell them of the implementation and reporting requirements and the expected results of the project.