UNDP supports GOB’s Digital Inclusion Grant Programme
The Government of Belize has received ICT equipment from the United Nations Development Program to support what is called the Digital Inclusion Grant Program. It will create a network of Digital Connect Centres nationwide, which will help with general adult digital literacy training, specialised digital skills boot camps and continuous digital access. Minister responsible for Public Utilities, Michel Chebat says this is a welcome addition to support the Government’s agenda of getting more people connected online.
Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of E-Governance: “Undoubtedly Belize as a developing nation has its fair share of challenges and the digital divide is certainly one of them. However guided by our ambitious and first of a kind National Digital Agenda 2022-2025 and supported by partners such as the UNDP we stnad ready to face this challenge. We stand ready to empower, educate and equip our citizens with the necessary tools and skills needed to create that bridge and overcome the digital divide. The IT equipment being received today will go a long way in providing access to citizens both in the rural and urban areas through the soon to be launched digital connect centers. We understand that access is just one aspect of development thus we are committed to providing the necessary training to our citizens to complement and optimize the use of today’s donations. Through the National Digital Inclusion Grant Program supported by the UNDP Belize will see a network of digital connect centers being established, connecting citizens to the wider world through general adult digital literacy training, specialized digital skills boot camps and continuous digital access.”
Deputy Resident Representative for the UNDP, Ian King explained how the funding, worth over a million dollars, will help.
Ian King, UNDP Deputy Resident Rep, Appointed for Belize: “The support that we’re providing today in terms of this hand over is funded really through what is the Digital Inclusion Program and I know that director Peralta and Ms.Mendez have been working steadfastly throughout the year to see how we can strengthen those ties and enable us at UNDP to support the government’s e-governance program and digital program and tie it in also with the work that we’ve been talking to AG with in terms of the broader access to justice, strengthening the systems of government in that particular area. And so we’re really happy to bring these together here. It will be remiss of me not to mention the fact that first of all the project started formally signed, I mean the discussions were I think all through the year but formally signed at the end of last year 22nd of November set to conclude September of this year. I should mention that we’re talking about in the proximity of $570,000 but of which almost $70,000 government has said to UNDP look we’re providing these resources to work with us and provide these inputs and we were able to find another half million dollars from our various resources. This even of course therefore is a milestone as we support government in fulfilling the commitments to the Belizean people I’m sure we’ll hear from both the AG and from minister in ensuring all Belizeans have access to basic essential services which is a vital aspect of governance. The modernization of the Vital Statistics Unit we know is a priority to the Government of Belize and we know that this is a step towards that and a transition to a digital Belize.”