The Government of Belize is pleased to announce that in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, through financial and technical assistance, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has commenced preparation of a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Period 2014 to 2017. The strategy will be one of a series of medium-term strategies that will need to be prepared and implemented towards realizing the vision put forward in Horizon 2030. This vision reads:

"Belize is a country of peace and tranquility, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after their own development in a sustainable way."

Achieving this vision requires effective planning which involves developing good medium-term strategic plans, linking these plans to successive operational multi-year budgets and putting in place an appropriate monitoring and evaluation framework. This first Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will therefore complement efforts already under way to improve Government's budgeting process through the adoption of programme budgeting. Programme budgeting is expected to result in much improved management of public resources.

The effort to prepare the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will involve identifying the priority outcomes that will be pursued and resourced in order to accelerate the pace at which Belize advances toward the attainment of the country's vision. It will involve identifying the critical root causes that need to be addressed and identify the binding constraints to economic growth. The process will draw inputs from the many previous consultations and studies conducted with respect to social and economic development and will seek to identify, sequence and phase workable program mes toward the realization of the Horizon 2030 vision.

The Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will be prepared by core technical team comprising officials from the Policy and Planning Unit and the Budget Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Central Bank of Belize, and the Statistical Institute of Belize. The team will draw frequently on the expertise of various Government ministries, representatives of development partners resident in Belize, the private sector and NGOs. To provide guidance and support to the team, Belize has secured the services of a Caribbean Economist - Mr. Kent Vital. Mr.

Kent Vital is a former employee of the Caribbean Development Bank who is highly commended by his peers and who is thoroughly familiar with development issues in Belize, as well as in a number of other Caribbean countries. It is expected that the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) will be finalized by July 2014 following a national consultation.