US$12.4 Million from World Bank for COVID-19 relief

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On Tuesday, July 14, the World Bank announced that it will provide the Government of
Belize US$12.4 million for social assistance to poor and vulnerable households impacted by COVID19.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to serious economic and social challenges for Belize,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “The World Bank mobilized a rapid response to support the country’s efforts in mitigating the impacts on the poor and most vulnerable populations.”
In its release the World Bank says that the funds will support Belize’s social protection response to the COVID-19 emergency, implemented by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA). The financing will provide support for existing beneficiaries of Belize’s main poverty reduction social protection program, Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation (BOOST). It will also support poor households not receiving other social assistance or employment income through a temporary Belize COVID-19 Cash Transfer (BCCAT) Program. This program will target households screened through a poverty assessment tool and who meet set criteria, including households with pregnant women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Specific details on eligibility criteria and the scope of the emergency social assistance will be published by the Government of Belize prior to rollout. In total, over 13,000 households in need are expected to receive cash transfers through this emergency response.
These funds were accessed under the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) of the Climate Resilience Improvement Project (CRIP). CERCs allow funds to be reallocated from existing projects to address emergency response needs.