The United Kingdom has donated 1.3 million dollars towards the Public Awareness and Preparedness Campaign. It is a substantial amount of money which represents only 15% of the cost of the ICJ campaign that has a grand total of $8.5 million dollars. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is playing a pivotal role in the execution of the project on behalf of the Government of Belize. The project is a comprehensive, multifaceted initiative, involving engagement from various civil society organizations, educational institutions, and the public, as well as support and training from international experts. Christian Salazar Volkmann, the UNDP Representative for Belize spoke to Love News about the project.
Christian Salazar Volkmann UNDP Representative for Belize: “The idea from our perspective is to support particularly access for young people to information about the referendum and it’s also the idea that it is important that the National debate about the referendum brings in all the stakeholders: the civil society, the churches, the private sector etc. everybody. It’s a matter of national interest, of national importance so everybody should participate and be able to get the information needed to make a conscious decision. In that context we will provide technical assistance so that if the campaign is done well I would like to utilize that our support as UNDP is under strict neutrality so from our perspective, our support is the contribution to the Belizean democracy so that people really get the access to the information they need so that citizens can make a decisions of that magnitude and do it really with information needed to make up their minds so we would like to make that contribution but as I mentioned from our side and under a always a sign of neutrality because this is a Belizean matter and it should be resolved by the Belizeans and for that matter repeating particularly young people it would be good that they have full access everywhere in the country so that no one is left behind.”
The project was launched in August 2018 in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Belize and is expected to last up to the time of the referendum, which is scheduled to take place on April 10th, 2019.