More than 170,000 Belizeans will benefit from improved climate resilient roads and capacity to manage climate risks and impacts as a result of a US$30 million project approved by the World Bank s Board of Directors.
This project will enable Belize to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against this global threat as it relates to the negative effects on Belize s economic growth and welfare of its present and future generations, said Ambassador Yvonne Hyde, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change identified Belize as one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change.
More than half its population and business centers are at sea level along its low lying coastline. Hurricane Hattie destroyed half of Belize City in 1961, killing 400 people and causing damages amounting to over 600 percent of GDP, which prompted the government to build a new administrative capital 50 miles inland in Belmopan.
Belize is particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards. This project is an important contribution to address the impacts of climate change on the country s social and economic development as part of the National Climate Resilient investment plan, said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
With the upcoming UN Conference on Small Islands Developing States in Samoa next week, this is also an opportunity to draw attention to the efforts needed to boost the resilience of Caribbean states that are particularly hit by rising sea level, flooding, hurricanes, and other disasters, she added.
The climate resilient infrastructure project will: " Rehabilitate 30 km of roads and train 100 people on road maintenance
" Improve 12 bridges and culverts
" Operationalize the National Land Use Policy and develop 26 localized hazard maps
" Train government staff in new flood tracking methods.
This five year project is financed from an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of US$30 million to the Government of Belize. It has a final maturity of 40 years, with a five year grace period. Source
======================================Belizeans to Benefit from US$30 million Climate Resilience Project from World Bank for Improved Road Infrastructure and Disaster Risk Management
Belmopan. September 4, 2014. The Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project
(BCRIP) will support the efforts of the Government of Belize to improve the resilience of critical road infrastructure against flood risk and to strengthen the capacity of relevant ministries to incorporate climate resilience and disaster risk management in their investment planning and implementation. They include the Ministries of Works and Transport and Natural Resources and Agriculture.
“The Government of Belize is conscious of the social, economic and environmental implications of Climate Change and takes this opportunity to first, welcome the strategic partnership with the World Bank through this loan for the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project,” said Yvonne Hyde, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. “This project will enable Belize to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against this global threat as it relates to the negative effects on Belize’s economic growth and welfare of its present and future generations.”
CEO Hyde added that the project is designed at increasing the resilience of the Belizean people to climate change and its impact on the environment and economy of Belize. The project will rehabilitate 30 kilometers of roads, improve the Ministry of Works’ capacity in road maintenance and training of road maintenance personnel, operationalize the National Land Use Policy, as well as improve government’s personnel capacity in flood mitigation systems.
The World Bank noted that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has identified Belize as one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change.
In 2000, Hurricane Keith caused damaged exceeding 45% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In May 2008, Tropical Storm Arthur caused extensive damages to critical infrastructure and the agriculture sector. Another notable hurricane is Hattie that destroyed half of Belize City in 1961.
Hurricanes and tropical storms affecting Belize in recent years have been of catastrophic proportions and adversely resulted in the loss of lives. These hurricanes and storms have also severely disrupted social and economic growth and development.
Public Relations Officer, Belize Social Investment Fund