CDB & DFC Project to benefit MSMEs, Housing, Education Launched in Belize

[Barbados] The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is providing funding to the Development Finance Corporation of Belize (DFC) to: better support the productive sector, including small business; to assist students to access tertiary level and skills training programmes; and families to acquire or improve their own homes.

            Officially initiated today at the CDB-DFC project launch workshop in Belize City, the programme, on completion in 2016 should benefit 50 MSMEs; 200 students and 150 lower middle income households. The project is being made possible via a loan of USD10.5mn and a grant of USD0.086mn to be used for: loans to the productive sector including micro-enterprises; mortgage financing; student loans; and renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) pilot programme.
The financing also includes funding of a pilot programme among existing viable businesses to demonstrate the benefits of EE/RE.  This EE/RE component of the loan will be accompanied with a grant of USD86,000 from CDB’s Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) to finance the cost of energy audits of participating businesses.

Target outcomes over the next four years are expected to be: increased number of skilled graduates from poor households; improved standard of living for low and lower middle income household; increased economic production and employment through the private sector; and increased awareness and usage of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“Consistent with our development mandate, CDB has supported the national development priorities of the Government and People of Belize with more than USD400mn in loan and grant funding over the past four decades.  This new loan of $10.5mn is a continuation of CDB’s support and it is noteworthy that this loan is directly to DFC following an independent consultant’s assessment that this new DFC conforms to current best practices with respect to the implementation of good corporate governance measures,” said Deidre Clarendon CDB’s Social Sector Division Chief.

A team from CDB is in Belize for the next two days working with the Ministry of Finance; the Board of Directors, management, and staff of DFC; and other key stakeholders to apprise them of the implementation and reporting requirements and expected results of the project.  The PLW is being used as a mechanism to help mitigate risks such as loss of institutional memory; and to ensure greater clarity regarding CDB’s procedures.  Particular emphasis is being placed on the pilot EE/RE component of the project.
CDB’s strong governance standards, developed over 45 years of funding projects of various scales across the Caribbean are shared to ensure responsibility, accountability and efficient implementation. CDB presenters will discuss and answer questions on legal conditions; procurement; disbursements; project supervision; design and monitoring framework; managing for development results; stakeholder review; scheduling and monitoring for development results.

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