Belize preparing for a prosperous future

Belize preparing for a prosperous future

Belize develops a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2014 – 2017

In a solid step forward, The Government of Belize, with financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Program is working on something with implications for every Belizean.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has begun work a “Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Period 2014 to 2017”.

This strategy will be one of a series of medium-term plans working towards realising the vision behind Horizon 2030. This vision reads:

Belize is a country of peace and tranquillity, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after their own development in a sustainable way.”

We think that’s a great goal, and achieving it requires effective planning starting with good medium-term strategic plans, and then linking these plans to successive operational year-to-year budgets and putting in place a solid monitoring and evaluation framework.

This first Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will complement efforts already under way to improve Government’s budgeting process, which is expected to result in better management of public resources.

Now there’s a great step forward.

Ultimately, the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will help identify what is needed to attain the country’s vision quoted above.

This is a process that will draw on many previous consultations and studies regarding social and economic development, all aimed at making the Horizon 2030 vision a reality.

The Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will be prepared by a core technical team of officials from the Policy and Planning Unit and the Budget Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Central Bank of Belize, and the Statistical Institute of Belize.

That’s quite a team.

In addition, the team will draw frequently on the expertise of various Government ministries, representatives of development partners resident in Belize, the private sector and NGOs. To provide guidance and support to the team, Belize has secured the services of Caribbean Economist Kent Vital, who is a former official of the Caribbean Development Bank who comes highly recommended by his peers.

As a vital member of the team (sorry, we couldn’t resist) he is  thoroughly familiar with development issues in Belize, as well as in a number of other Caribbean countries, so his input will take into account a wide range of experience.

It is expected that the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) will be finalized by July 2014 following a national consultation.

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