Prime Minister Presents Midterm Report, Highlights Government’s Progress
Prime Minister John Briceno has presented a midterm report on his administration’s progress since coming to office in November 2020. His near 9-minute remarks looked at various areas where the government has registered progress and improvements. Of course, it would amiss of the Prime Minister to not take a few jabs at the opposition, albeit subtle. Here is snippet of the midterm report.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “We rescued our Belizean dollar from devaluation. Our new policies reduced the public debt by more than 50%. The SIB will report shortly that during the first quarter of 2023, the Belizean economy continued a historic rise, growing by 11.5% with the dynamic tertiary sector of tourism and services surging by 16.5%. Consider the 11,000 lots that the Lands Ministry has awarded or was shortly awarded to first-time landowners. Think of the 260 deserving families now living in quality starter homes, handed over by the Ministry of Housing with another 200 under construction. And look at the 2,600 students, whether in primary, secondary or university classrooms, who are currently benefiting from tuition, school books and fee assistance through an energetic Ministry of Education. Better jobs, higher wages, more lots, houses and scholarships, all in two and a half years after 13 years of UDP abandonment. The most recent poverty assessment showed a spectacular decline of 68,000 fewer Belizeans living in poverty. Cabinet recently approved a $23 million special program to fund urgently needed improvements in our cities and towns and villages. A few days ago, Parliament approved a program to stimulate more jobs, efficiencies, and quality of life improvements. Not only have we rationalized the health ministry’s budget redirecting funds to staff and supplies at KHMH, but here at midterm, we have already secured funding for two additional healthcare facilities, one in San Pedro where $30 million will be invested, and a new tertiary level hospital in Belmopan to be attached to the University of Belize. These new facilities complement the ongoing rollout of the National Health Insurance Program recently introduced for all residents in the Corozal and Orange Walk districts. Perhaps the most exciting process in our young administration is the mandate for constitutional reform. The National Committee is readying for broad public consultations, the outcome of which I eagerly anticipate. As we mark the midpoint of this term of office, I am more hopeful than ever that together, on this blessed land we call Belize, greatness can be yours and our country’s fate.”
The Briceno administration is in its first term after being elected in a 26 to 5 seat win in parliament in November 2020.