CDB Supporting Youth and Community Transformation in Belize

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is to provide a loan equivalent to USD5.2 million and a grant equivalent to USD105,000 to the Government of Belize for a project aimed at securing the well-being and reducing the vulnerability of children and youth in poor communities in Belize City. Under this project, there will be expanded access to social services and infrastructure and enhancement of the service providers to effectively respond to the challenges facing these communities. Between 2000 and 2010, the rate of violent crime in Belize increased on average by about 8% per year, reaching a record high of 41.7% per 100,000 inhabitants; a total of 130 homicides. In Belize City alone, the homicide rate reached 107 per 100,000 in 2010. While the overall objective of the project is improved citizen and community security in Belize City, it aims specifically to reduce the vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pickstock and Port Loyola divisions of the city. The main components of the project are: transformation programmes which include enhancement of basic literacy and numeracy skills, adaptive life skills and employability, as well as community support activities for children, youth and families; community infrastructure development, including Construction of a new resource centre; and programme implementation support, including project management, and monitoring and evaluation. The grant will be used to assist with financing an employability enhancement programme.

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