2,000 Belizean Youths to Benefit from CDB Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project

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2,000 Belizean youths between ages 16-29 are expected to benefit from a USD157,000 Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project jointly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize (GOBZ). The project funded by a CDB-Grant of USD110,000 with a counterpart contribution of USD47,000 by the GOBZ, will be executed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Road Safety Unit and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Mr. Glen McCarvell, Operations Officer (Civil Engineer), CDB, notes, "Road traffic injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in Belize. Of these, youth comprise 30 per cent of road crash fatalities, with young males specifically, accounting for 90 per cent. Through this project we aim to increase youth's understanding of road safety, and youth-related issues surrounding the safe use of Belize's road network. In particular, the project seeks to catalyse behavioural change in young males, while equipping all participants with the knowledge needed, and assisting with the development of the skills required, to implement their own road safety activities." The road safety capacity building programme for youths will be facilitated by Youth For Road Safety (YOURS), an international youth-led and youth-oriented, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation focused on youth and road safety. The programme will utilise a train-the-trainer approach, while incorporating peer education and active learning. It is expected that the project will also enhance the benefits to be realised from the ongoing USD8.844 million CDB-funded Road Safety Project launched in March 2013. Belize has the highest road fatality rate of CDB's 19 borrowing member countries. The high death rate is disturbing from a public health point of view and also translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty. A study carried out in 2007 by Belize's Ministry of Health estimated that the cost of road traffic injuries to Belize's economy was equivalent to USD16 million. Image Source: Youth For Road Safety (YOURS)

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