US Government Contributes $10 Million to Belize’s Amnesty Program
In 2022, the US Government, via its Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, contributed almost ten million dollars to support Belize’s amnesty program. The US Government had looked at the program very favorably because it would have lessened the number of persons heading to their borders. The program initially targeted some forty thousand persons, but only an estimated twelve thousand had signed up at its closing. Today, the Deputy Assistant Administrator within USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mileydi Guilarte, was asked if personnel in Washington saw the program as a disappointment.
Mileydi Guilarte, USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean: “We had very fruitful conversations yesterday with the foreign minister, prime minister, and we were noting and underscoring the importance of Belize being a partner in this shared challenge in the region as it relates to migration. And I think Belize, and we communicated this, has really become a model in many ways in our region for looking for all types of solutions to integrate migrants. So looking at sustainable solutions. And I think this is definitely, it’s in its beginning stages. We’re trying to identify any gaps and challenges where we may be able to assist. I think the announcement that I made today is in support of that. So no, I would not say that it is in any way a failure, but actually something that a lot of the neighbors in the region should see as a model for looking at how to solve some of the challenges related to migration.”
A representative from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Cheryl Fernandes, explained that the program was in line with the government’s efforts to meet humanitarian needs, increase access to protection, and promote durable solutions for migrants and asylum seekers.
The funds were provided to GOB, and NGOs such as the International Office of Migration, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and UNICEF.