Belize has joined the Salud Mesoamerica 2015 Initiative, a project that aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality among the poor.

The programme could help more than 30,000 young women and children.

Acting Belizean Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno signed the agreement in San Pedro, Belize.

Belize's government has pledged $500,000 for the programme, a number matched by the SM2015 Initiative, for the first 18 months of the project.

"Belize has made important progress in providing health services to its people, and indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality have improved dramatically in recent years," Moreno said. "But these gains have yet to reach the most marginalized populations, with parts of Belize lagging behind others."

Vega said Belize was "very thankful" for the project.