US $20 million loan signed with IDB

It's been in the pipeline almost since the winds of
Hurricane Keith crossed the border into Mexico...but
now it's official. On Tuesday evening in Washington,
D.C. Interamerican Development Bank president
Enrique Iglesias and Belize's ambassador Lisa Shoman
signed the documents for a twenty million U.S. dollar
hurricane emergency loan. The loan was processed in
record time under new guidelines introduced in the
wake of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The funds will be
used for a wide array of activities ranging from
cleanup of debris to major infrastructure repairs. The
loan carries a twenty year term, with a five year grace
period and a variable interest rate which is currently at
seven point zero-three percent. The counterpart funds
provided by the Belize government total five million
U.S. dollars.

In related news the IDB will be hosting an
international donours conference on December
seventh. Approximately twenty different agencies are
expected to meet with Belizean officials to arrange
financing for medium and long term hurricane recovery
programmes. In a unique effort to help the Belizean
news media cover the event, the local IDB office is
holding a lottery in which one print, one radio and one
television journalist will enjoy a sponsored trip to
Washington to report on the conference. The names of
the reporters will be made public on Monday.