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$15M Loan from IDB to for Sustainable and Inclusive Belize project

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a $15 million loan and up to $800,000 in grant funding for the Sustainable and Inclusive Belize project, which seeks to bolster revenue from agriculture and tourism, two of the most essential pillars of Belize’s economy.  The operation will focus on boosting the competitiveness, climate resilience, and environmental sustainability of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in both sectors.  Tourism accounted for 39% of Belize’s GDP in 2019, while agriculture contributed 10%, and both sectors rely heavily on the health of the country’s natural resources.  Both sectors also face major and similar challenges that undermine their competitiveness and sustainability.  This loan will support sustainable tourism business plans for approximately 200 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, with a particular emphasis on those working to reduce impacts on the environment, improve climate resilience and foster digitalization and innovation.   At the same time, it will target around 1,500 small farmers from low-income families that are under severe pressure from climate change to drive profitable, sustainable, and climate-resilient farming systems. The funds will be used to provide gender- and culturally-sensitive technical assistance to farmers to encourage good environmental practices in agriculture.  Additionally, the loan will fund work to design and implement green business plans for around 40 groups of farmers and 80 micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises and provide financial support for sustainable technologies for about half of them.  The plans will also include investments to improve market access for these businesses.