September 20, 2020

CDB to finance education sector reform project in Belize and to assist in road safety improvements

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is to provide a Technical Assistance loan equivalent to USD2 million to the Government of Belize to finance an Education Sector Reform Project.  The objective of the Project is enhanced learning outcomes across all levels of the education sector.  A grant of USD 90,000 for consultancy services also forms part of the financial assistance package.  Ultimately, the project will have an impact on enhancing the human capital in Belize and contribute to poverty reduction.

The proposed Project is the first phase of a comprehensive development programme as envisaged under the Education Sector Study (2011-2016), which was developed with funding from CDB.  It responds to the more critical challenges in the sector which have resulted in low participation rates and performance standards at all levels.  The project focuses on three key policy objectives: (i) strengthened governance of the sector; (ii) improved quality and relevance of education; and (iii) increased equitable access.

CDB’s resources will assist the Government to effectively and efficiently execute all the activities associated with the reform of the education sector.  The Project will provide an enhanced regulatory and institutional framework for the delivery of, and access to, quality education.  This project will not only support the development of the regulatory environment, but also contribute to the implementation of school improvement and management activities, which will empower school communities to address access to quality education.

And…

Belize recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, giving it the highest fatality rate of the Borrowing Member Countries of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).  The Bank is of the view that the high death rate from road traffic incidents in Belize is not only disturbing from a public health point of view, but also translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty.

CDB has approved a loan to the Government of Belize of an amount equivalent to USD7.248 million for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. This will be achieved through improving the safety of road infrastructure along a demonstration corridor; changing road user behaviour through increased awareness and understanding of the issue; traffic law enforcement support; post-crash response support; and road safety management capacity building.

In the area of Education and Training, 100 teachers are to be trained to deliver road safety curriculum to 2,000 students.   With regard to Social and Economic Infrastructure, 80 kilometres of primary roads are to be upgraded from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-star for all road users.

In addition, capacity development will be enhanced with 20 public sector employees trained in road safety management, and 35 public sector employees trained in traffic law enforcement.

However, the main beneficiaries of the road project will be the thousands of vehicle occupants who travel from Belize City to Hattieville, and from Hattieville to Belmopan each day.

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