Country Report Belize October 1996 Main report

Regional outlook for 1997-98: Aid patterns will change--

The general pattern of development aid will continue to change as the USA reduces its contribution, leaving the EU as the single largest bilateral aid provider to the region. The share of development finance from Japan and other Asian countries (in particular Taiwan) is set to rise, however. There are also signs that the World Bank is shifting its emphasis towards the support of social programmes aimed at counteracting the effects of structural adjustment on the poor.

--while new loans will boost private investment

A number of specific loan projects will aid private-sector development in the region. The countries of the Eastern Caribbean, along with Guyana, have been included among the beneficiaries of an International Finance Corporation (IFC) investment initiative announced in September. This aims to promote the development of small and medium-scale private enterprise in smaller and poorer countries, and is supported by a US$40m small enterprise fund. In October the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced the signing of a global loan agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The credit is intended to finance medium-scale regional or national investment projects, and is worth Ecu25m (US$20m). Guyana also stands to benefit from the October decision of the Paris Club of creditors to boost relief on the official debt of highly indebted countries, from 67% to a maximum of 80% of the total.

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