An agreement for two grants has been signed between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Development Fund, Lorne Mcdonnough. Under the agreement $2.3 Million US has been allocated for the construction of the new Haulover Bridge and $162,000 US to support energy efficiency projects for the private sector.

The construction of the new Haulover Bridge is estimated to cost $9.0 million US which will be co-financed by the Caribbean Development Bank and the government of Belize. The second grant however, will be managed by the Development Finance Corporation and it will be disbursed to firms so as to retrofit their operations and install solar power generation to make them energy efficient and competitive.

Barrow, in welcoming the commitment of the CDF to Belize’s development, underscored the trail being blazed with the first co-financing initiative between the CDF and the CDB. He also recalled the three other CDF-funded projects in Belize. This included a concessionary loan with a grant component to the DFC and In addition, he identified two separate grant components aimed at promoting the business application of green technology and raising the capacity of the Government to better manage projects.

CEO McDonnough acknowledged that these projects answered the question of the relevance of CARICOM and its institutions, and are indeed strategic interventions which transforms member states in a manner that it impacts the ordinary citizen. This in turn expresses the desire to participate in other collaborative activities between the CDF and development partners.