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An aerial view of a section of Belize city. (Photo: International Environments)

IDB approves loan for Belize COVID-19 response

An aerial view of a section of Belize city. (Photo: International Environments)

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced last Friday that it approved the disbursement of a loan to support Belize’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response efforts.

According to the IDB, “The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of US$6.2 million for Belize following the Government’s request to the bank to reprogram 10 per cent of the undisbursed balance of the country’s current investment portfolio to assist the Government with its response to the impact of the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

(File photo)

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 on the global scale, Belize has confirmed 18 cases and recorded two related deaths. However, the Central American country anticipates a resurgence in cases from the virus and, therefore, is embarking on strengthening its institutional capacity to cope with the challenges.

To this end, the loan will support the country’s efforts to hasten timely case detection and monitoring; as well as interventions to contain the transmission, including communicating with the public, encouraging social distancing and case surveillance at points of entry.

In addition, it will fund the procurement of medical and personal protective equipment, and finance the continuity of essential care for the entire population during the emergency.

The Inter-American Development loan to Belize will fund the procurement of medical and personal protective equipment. (Photo: Caribbean Development Bank)

“These interventions will benefit the population in general through prevention actions that will be communicated to the public. It will also benefit persons suspected of having COVID-19 and those who were diagnosed and need specialised care,” the IDB stated.

“Ultimately, the project’s goal is to contribute to the reduction of mortality and morbidity from COVID-19 and to mitigate the indirect impacts of the pandemic on health,” the bank continued.