By Benjamin Flowers
The World Bank has approved a $60 million loan for a project to improve infrastructure and to increase Belize’s capacity to manage the impacts of climate change.
The project will be implemented over a five year span and financed from an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of US$30 million with maturity of 40 years and a five year grace period.
The climate resilient infrastructure project will rehabilitate some 30 km of roads and train 100 people on road maintenance, train government staff in new flood tracking methods, improve 12 bridges and culverts, put into operation the National Land Use Policy, and develop 26 localized hazard maps.
Some 170,000 Belizeans are expected to benefit from the project, which was approved last week.
“This project will enable Belize to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against this global threat as it relates to the negative effects on Belize’s economic growth and welfare of its present and future generations,” said Ambassador Yvonne Hyde, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, underscored that the project is important because of its connection to the National Climate Resilient Investment Plan.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change identified Belize as one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change, citing that more than half of the population and business centers are at sea level along the low lying coastline.