A special meeting was held yesterday in the country’s capital where Veronica Zavala, the new General Manager of the Inter-American Development Bank’s department for Central America, Haiti, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic, met with Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow to discuss Belize’s current relationship with the IDB and programming for this year.
During yesterday’s meeting, Zavala and PM Barrow reaffirmed the strong partnership that exists between both countries over a twenty five year period. They also took the opportunity to discuss the current IDB portfolio and 2018 program, examining possible areas of partnership to support for Belize’s sustainable development.
It is of note that the IDB has been offering support to Belize since 1992 when the jewel first became a borrowing member. The bank’s current portfolio in Belize consists of five loans amounting to USD $72 million, supporting sustainable tourism, education, transport, solid waste management and climate resilience, as well as over US$17 million in technical assistance and investment grants. Several new projects are currently in preparation.
Also present at the meeting were IDB Country Representative, Cassandra T. Rogers; Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Natural Resources, Joseph Waight; CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, Yvonne Hyde; and Belize’s Representative on the IDB Board of Executive Directors, Elvira Méndez.
The visit represents the first mission of Zavala to Belize in her capacity as regional manager for the IDB.