Belize Rural Development Project II

Friday, December 27th, 2013

PRESS RELEASE
Date December 16th 2013

IMG_2980As part of its effort to improve access to strategic infrastructure as well as strengthening policies and institutional environment, the BRDP II project through the EU has organised two market groundbreaking ceremonies which was attended by the European Union Ambassador, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Minister of Works & Transport, Minister of State (with special emphasis on Transport), senior officials of the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Rural Development, as well as Area Representatives, the Town and Village Councils, special guests and other representatives from various groups and organisations.
– The first Ground Breaking ceremony has been organised for Monday 16th December from 3:00 to 5:00 PM in Independence. The market plan consists of 2 main buildings having approx. 1, 332 square feet each. Each building has four (4) permanent and secured stalls (2 stalls 15’ 8” by 17’ 9” and 2 stalls 16’ by 16’ 6”) each available for rent on a long term basis. There is also a parking lot measuring 231’ 9” by 80’ 9” with two entrances. The parking lot can be used for the market and/or any other specific events.
– The second Ground Breaking ceremony has been organised for Tuesday 17th December from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in Benque Viejo del Carmen. This market consists of six (6) permanent and secured stalls approximately 200 square feet (14’ by 14’) each available for rent on a long term basis. Additionally there are four (4) stalls with roofs but with open sides (14’ by 14’) for short term or daily rentals. Each of these four open stalls can be subdivided to as many as four 7’ by 7’ spaces. All the stalls facing the plaza are connected with covered walkways. Both markets are expected to be completed by September 2014. The Ministry of Works, through the Project Execution Unit is in charge of the supervision of the two market construction contracts. To develop good practises in market management, specific training has been recently delivered to market managers as well as other key individuals such as those in local authorities and vendors. Already good initiatives like the creation of market committees have been initiated, allowing market stakeholders to organise management and development plans for their markets. The Belize Rural Development Project (BRDP)II, following on the successes of BRDP, is a broad-based rural development initiative funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize which is being implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The aim of the project is to promote economic growth and reduce the incidence of poverty in the rural communities of Belize.IMG_3029
In order to achieve this goal, a number of activities have already been undertaken including:
i) Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises [SME] through partnerships with the Young Women’s Christian Association [YWCA], Toledo Cacao Grower’s Association [TCGA], Belize Botanic Gardens [BBG], Belize Tourism Board/National Institute of Culture and History [BTB/NICH],
ii) Improving access to strategic infrastructure such as the Hopkins Road, markets (Belmopan, Benque Viejo del Carmen and Independence), improvement to neonatal and maternal health services and,
iii) Strengthening of policies and the institutional environment. BRDP II offers technical assistance support to Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency & Immigration and Nationality, the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Ministry of Health. It also offers other various types of supports to the Belize Agricultural Health Authority [BAHA] and the Belize Bureau of Standards.

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