Belize: The Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs of Belize announced its accomplishments during its first 100 days.
This is current following are the achievements as per the following.
1. Distributed more than 36,000 food assistance baskets countrywide to needy households affected by economic impacts of COVID-19.
2. Provided financial support to 2,879 needy households (5,523 paid beneficiaries) with a total disbursement of $1,338,841 through BOOST and BOOST+.
3. Launched Belize COVID-19 Cash Transfer Program, targeting 21,000 households country-wide and approximately 5,000 beneficiaries by the end of February 2021.
4. Established the portfolio of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and appointed a highly trained, competent and respected professional as Commissioner of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.
5. Met with representatives of the Maya indigenous communities, including the Maya Leaders Alliance, Toledo Alcaldes Association, Toledo Maya Cultural Council, Kekchi Council of Belize, and Community Leaders of Sarstoon Temash National Park buffer communities. Also participated in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) hearing on the Maya Land Rights Case on January 19, 2021, to signal a new era of respect, engagement and communication with the Maya communities of Toledo and other indigenous peoples.
6. Established coordination mechanism with the Forest, Lands and Police departments with a view to implementing the CCJ Consent Order.
7. Met with representatives of the Garifuna indigenous people including the National Garifuna Council, Garifuna Nation, Dangriga Youth Football Association, Wagiya Foundation and the Wachari Organic Agricultural Association (WOAA) to signal respect, engagement and communication with the Garifuna people.
8. Continued the strengthening of coordination and collaboration with other social sector ministries including the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government, Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment, and the Ministry of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries for improved service delivery to the vulnerable populations.
9. Supported the Ministry of Health & Wellness with logistics for more than 700 food assistance baskets to COVID-19 quarantine patients.
10. Met with representatives of the LGBT community (UNIBAM, PETAL and Our Circle) to emphasize that there will be no place for exclusion.
11. Put in place a strong team, including the appointment and efforts of the Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, to give emphasis to the upliftment of families.
12. Focused new impetus and energy in the board of the National Women’s Commission, including several committed men.
13. Focused new impetus and energy in the National Committee for Families and Children with a dynamic new chairlady.
14. Currently in the process of revitalizing the National Council on Ageing to foster greater inclusion, participation and respect for older persons in our communities.
15. Putting in place a Desk for Disabilities staffed by a disabilities officer.
16. Commenced infrastructural improvement and programmatic strengthening at the Youth Hostel to support the rehabilitation of the residents.
17. Commenced coordination with the Attorney General’s Ministry to revamp the legislation governing the Youth Hostel to make it more child-friendly and to take a child protection approach.
18. Conducted planning session with senior managers for the development of a strategic plan for the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.
Ramanjot Kaur is a dedicated journalist with a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in economic and political news reporting with incisive analysis and integrity.