Last week Belize and the World Bank signed on, on a $60 million dollar project to improve and strengthen Belize’s climate resilience and impacts of climate change. The project entitled: “Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project” (BCRIP) will improve and strengthen Belize’s climate resilience and its anticipated impacts of climate change in relation to infrastructure, in particular, to a 24km section of the Philip Goldson Highway.
The Government of Belize through the Belize Social Investment Fund/Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) will enable Belize to effectively implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against climate change considered a global threat.
BCRIP is designed to increase the resilience of the Belizean people to climate change and its impact on the environment and economy of Belize. The project will initially rehabilitate 24 kilometers of roads, improve the Ministry of Works’ capacity in road maintenance and training of road maintenance personnel, operationalize the National Land Use Policy, as well as improve government’s personnel capacity in flood mitigation systems. Project activities will include but not limited to hydrological improvements, small-scale creek alignment and river training; river embankments protection, re-sizing of culverts and some replacement of culverts with small bridges to improve hydraulic capacities, road rehabilitation, road widening and shoulder improvement, and re-establishment of improved road safety features.
Of note is that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has identified Belize as one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change. In 2000, Hurricane Keith caused damages exceeding 45% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In May 2008, Tropical Storm Arthur caused extensive damages to critical infrastructure and the agriculture sector. Another notable hurricane is Hattie that destroyed half of Belize City in 1961. Signing the loan agreement at World Bank’s office in Washington, D.C. USA on behalf of the Government of Belize was Belize’s Ambassador in Washington, D.C. H.E. Ambassador Nestor Mendez.
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