CDB approves grant to finance study for road rehabilitation in Belize

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of GBP700,000 to the Government of Belize to fund a feasibility study for the upgrading of the Philip S. W. Goldson Highway. The project is being supported through the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF), which is administered by CDB.

The Philip S. W. Goldson Highway is a vital trade corridor, which facilitates the movement of goods between Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. The upgrading of this highway will support economic development, and facilitate the more cost-effective movement of exports to the Port of Belize. The feasibility study will allow the Government to determine the most efficient method of upgrading the highway, and prepare detailed designs for the road work,” said Andrew Dupigny, Head of Infrastructure Partnerships at CDB.

Approximately 20 percent of Belize’s imports originate from Central America, with much of it transported by road. In addition to the trade benefits, rehabilitation of the Highway is expected to contribute to improved road safety. The corridor registers some of the highest road fatality rates in the country. Approximately 50% of all road traffic accident fatalities occurring on the Highway between Belize City and the Mexican border. In 2012, CDB funded a long-term initiative to improve road safety in Belize, which resulted in a 35 percent drop in road fatalities along a demonstration corridor. The techniques learnt through that project will be applied in the rehabilitation of the Philip S. W. Goldson Highway.

The study will also focus on ensuring that the designs promote greater resilience to climate change, and improved drainage features along the Highway.

UKCIF provides grant financing to eight Caribbean countries eligible for Overseas Development Assistance, and UK Overseas Territory, Montserrat.

This project is consistent with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development, as well as CDB’s corporate priority of strengthening and modernising social and economic infrastructure.