CDB, SIB and Ministry of Economic Development Partner Up To Map Poverty

CDB, SIB and Ministry of Economic Development Partner Up To Map Poverty

A memorandum of agreement was signed today with the Caribbean Development Bank, the Statistical Institute of Belize, and the Ministry of Economic Development.  According to the CEO Dr. Osmond Martinez, the issue of poverty is one of the top issues the government wants to address.

Osmond Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development: “If you look historically Belize’s poverty census was done very ten years. Now within the Briceno administration we acknowledged that poverty is a serious issue therefore when you look at our medium term development strategy the first strategy within the medium term is poverty reduction and so one of the new policies that was directed to the Statistical Institute of Belize is to do poverty on an annual basis because we do believe that poverty once we have high poverty within our economy that shows that we have some underlying economic health issues therefore the only way we will be able to address them is by being able to reduce poverty and the only way we will know how to reduce poverty is by having data on an annual basis and therefore we can have some targeted interventions on it. One of the tasks that SIB has and I think that it will come out through the housing census estimates is that we want to know exactly where the people who or where the population that is considered poor lives and where they are and what is their deprivation. So is it access to water, health, living conditions, unemployment, whatever it is we want to know that way we can redirect private investment and public sector investment into those areas.”

Both the UNDP and the SIB are looking forward to working on identifying the degrees of poverty, and where the majority are located.  UNDP Representative, Kishan Khoday, spoke on the matter, as well as the SIB Director General, Diana Trejo.

Kishan Khoday, UNDP Representative: “At the top of our agenda at the moment is really combatting what we call multidimensional poverty. So going beyond just pure income to look at other deprivations and contributions of social vulnerability. So our cooperation today that we launched today with the Ministry of Economy is focusing on working with the Statistical Institute of Belize and through this cooperation we try to advance the use of the multidimensional poverty index which Belize is taking on board to really look at the border nature of assets and capacities that can be build to reduce the social vulnerability of the poorest of the poor across Belize.”

Diana Trejo, SIB Director General: “The support that’s being given by the UNDP is to further develop our poverty statistics program which we started in September of 2021 with the launch of the multidimensional poverty index. So the UNDP is lending support to further developing that program, providing some capacity building or the SIB and some of the government ministries in how to use this tool for policy making and in addition to that they are supporting us in the development of updated monetary poverty estimates. So this is to complement the NPI so we will be able now to assess poverty both by monetary means and by multidimensional means annually.”

The signing happened earlier today in Belmopan.

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