Five hundred thousand US dollars have been deposited into the Central Bank of Belize account courtesy the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) fund. It is a non-refundable deposit, meaning that Belize does not have to repay it. Love News spoke with Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development, Doctor Osmond Martinez. According to Martinez the money has already been earmarked.
Osmond Martinez, Ministry of Public Service: “It is a donation that has been given by CABEI and so it’s not a loan and so it’s money that came to Belize now and the government does not owe anything for it and so we will take advantage of it and that’s why I believe it’s very important to have good partnership with CABEI. This is monies that is available to spend and it will be channeled for COVID-19 relief and so it will go towards the Ministry of Health. This will be a decision in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment who is the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health so they will decide how to spend it but I understand it was going to be used to purchase vaccines and so it is practically a decision that it will be used to purchase vaccines.”
CEO Martinez further explained that Belize may be benefiting from additional funding from CABEI as negotiations that began back in 2015 continued last Friday during a virtual meeting with CABEI’s Executive President, Dr. Dante Mossi.
Osmond Martinez, Ministry of Public Service: “There were many things that we talked about but one of the main things is that there is a project that was signed from 2015 and that project is a project of $30 million US dollars and nothing has been done so far so we want to capitalize on it to see if there will be an opportunity to work with CABEI and those $30 million dollars. I believe that we have a good relationship with them now, we have established a very good relationship and I believe in the short term we will see all these projects will be materialized in partnership with CABEI.”
Belize is only one of several countries who were given the one-million-dollar grant. Other countries are the member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA).