Disaster Rehabilitation Belize

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July 30, 2008No. 16/08-BD NEWS RELEASE CDB TO FINANCE DISASTER REHABILITATION PROJECT FOR BELIZE The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved an USD8.8 million loan to the Government of Belize to help restore two bridges destroyed by flooding which resulted during the recent passage of Tropical Storms Alma and Arthur, between May 30 and June 1, 2008. CDB expedited the loan application and approval process in order to assist Belize, a borrowing member country of the Bank. On June 5, the Government of Belize formally applied to CDB for the loan, which was approved at the most recent meeting of the Bank's Board of Directors on July 24. The rehabilitation project will restore and protect the Kendal Bridge and the Mullins River Bridge. The reConstruction of these bridges will reconnect sections of southern Belize which had been totally cut off from the rest of the country. Residents of these areas are being adversely affected by the absence of both bridges. They are engaged in subsistence agriculture and some fishing, and depend on employment provided by the citrus, banana and Tourism industries as a major source of household income. Additionally, the residents' access to health care, education and other social services has been affected. The bridges are part of the vital infrastructure which contributes significantly to the country's economy, since they facilitate the movement of Belize's major agricultural and oil exports. While temporary crossings will ease the adverse economic impact of the destruction of the bridges, economic activity will be constrained by the reduced access, hence the project is likely to have a net positive macroeconomic impact on Belize. Aerial view of Kendal Bridge during flooding Temporary crossing installed after storm damage(photographs courtesy Government of Belize)

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