Yesterday the Governments Belize and India partnered to launch an infrastructural project that will be funded by the India-UN Development Partnership Fund. The infrastructure projects will upgrade the Youth Challenge Programme facilities and construct a new San Ignacio Community Exercise, Social Sports, and Women’s Group Feeding Programme Complex. The project is valued at a little over 1.1 million dollars. Speaking at the launch was UNDP Resident Representative, Karen Bernard.
Karen Bernard, UNDP Resident Representative
“Belize is also admired globally for many of its accomplishments in the area of bio diversity, managing the national resources. Belize is really well known for being outstanding in that regard so I believe Indian Belize can also learn from each other. These types of partnerships we call it South to south partnership and it also shows that the United Nations we have to step back a little bit and we have to say we are here to allow this partnership to flourish and support as needed but we are not the protagonist of this particular partnership. Now also as we see the world perhaps never really was divided amongst developed and underdeveloped countries I would say also countries which are advancing which I see India doing that very clearly and I see also Belize as a country that is advancing and galvanizing the talent in the country to move forward and to accomplish a lot. At the same time, we see that in our countries they do have lingering social challenges and problems that we are all concerned about and this project addresses some of those as well. His Lordship the mayor had mentioned health issues, diabetes, and other related health issues that are still taking some of our population In Belize and that can be better addressed. Health issues are one aspect that this project will be addressing and also the school feeding program which I believe will be part of the project, unfortunately in Belize as I heard the other day again there are some students who are going to school without having breakfast. I’ve heard this in Belmopan, I have heard this in Belize City and I believe we also find some cases in San Ignacio and these children are not able to focus on their studies, it really prevents their growth and their progress in life so having them place for school feeding program is also very important, this is one of those lingering development issues and I have to be honest with you even in my own country which is Canada. We also have cases of children who need to have school feeding programs so that they won’t go to school on an empty stomach so this is certainly not unique to Belize. These are complex challenges but we are here today to embrace this fantastic opportunity to initiate a relationship with India and Belize to support that, to nurture that relationship.”
This project is one of the first worldwide under the India-UN Fund.