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GOB Gets $40M Loan for Caracol Road

GOB Gets $40M Loan for Caracol Road
January 18
13:39 2019
REPORTER: News Staff, Friday Jan. 18th - 

The government of Belize, this week, signed a loan agreement for $40 million with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to finance the Caracol Road project. The long-talked about project is expected to be completed over the next four years and while most have welcomed the news, some believe other more pressing infrastructural projects should be given priority.

Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber signed the agreement on Belize’s behalf while H.E. Marwan Al-Ghanem, the Deputy Director-General of Operations of the Kuwait Fund who signed on his country’s behalf. The agreement includes financing for upgrades to the gravel road into a two-lane asphalt road. Several bridges will be replaced as well.

The Kuwait Fund agreement will cover the “Second Lot” of the project while the “First Lot”, which includes a different scope of works, is being financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development. The project is estimated to be complete by 2022.

National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) President, Sapna Budhrani, told the Reporter that the upgrading of the Caracol road should increase visitation to the site, which is one of the country’s larger but less frequently visited ruins. She added that the increased visits by tourists and locals alike would foster positive development in the area according to the Sustainable Tourism Project by building small communities and businesses.

“For both our locals and our foreigners, I think, we need to build pride in our country, and the best way to do that is going out and seeing what our country has to offer. You don’t really need to go to Disneyland if you have adventure here at home!” she said, adding that she would also like to see the infrastructure at other archaeological sites upgraded as well in the future.

People’s United Party Leader John Briceño, conceded the upgrading of the Caracol road was a good thing, however, he noted that in his opinion there are other more pressing infrastructural projects which would have taken priority. “Belizeans need better roads, for instance, the road to San Estevan, the road to Progresso, the road to Sarteneja. These are areas where Belizeans live and have to travel every day and it seems that the government is not giving attention to the needs of the people,” he said.

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